EVIT pays tribute to employees who served in the military for Veterans Day

EVIT pays tribute to employees who served in the military for Veterans Day
Posted on 11/10/2020
EVIT pays tribute to employees who served in the military for Veterans Day

The East Valley Institute of Technology paid a Veterans Day tribute this week to 13 employees who served in the military.


“As an organization we are fortunate to have individuals who are not only changing lives by loving our students, but who also served our country,” said EVIT Superintendent Dr. Chad Wilson. “They served our country, and now, they serve our future by teaching EVIT students and providing support to our programs and campuses.”


The Governing Board honored the EVIT veterans during its meeting Monday night. Watch the tribute video: https://youtu.be/_M1L2nNGzDY

The honored veterans include:

  • Lou Amadee, Aviation instructor, who served from 1980-91 in the Army as an aircraft maintenance officer and helicopter maintenance test pilot. “I was very willing and eager to support my country’s needs, but was fortunate not to have served during combat times,” he said. “My admiration and respect goes out to fellow veterans that sacrificed much more than me.” One of his most memorable experiences was being stationed in West Germany when the Berlin Wall came down.
  • Judy Belkis, Special Education (STEPS), who served from 1983-89 in the Army at Fort Jackson, S.C.
  • Barry Clark, Fire Science instructor, who retired with 26 years of military service in 2012 after serving in the Air Force and the Alaska Air National Guard. Clark served around the world, including deployment to Iraq during the Gulf War.
  • Jerry Coy, Anatomy & Physiology instructor, who served in the Navy in the Submarine Force.
  • Joe Ditmer, Plumbing instructor, who served in the Navy.
  • Bruce Haseley, Video Production instructor, who served from 1969-73 in the Air Force.
  • Albert Hirata, Welding instructor, who served in the Navy.
  • Blair Howland, Recruiter, who served in the Air Force in the Tactical Air Command. During his years of service, Howland was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Combat Readiness Medal and Longevity Service Award.
  • Jim McNamara, Fire Science instructor, who served in the Army National Guard.
  • Scott Meyer, Commercial Baking & Pastry Arts instructor, who served eight years in the Navy.
  • Erick Ragsdale, Custodian, who served in the Army 175th Assault Helicopter Company, Outlaws in Vietnam.
  • Curtis Ruhl, Construction instructor, who served from 1976-82 in the Marine Corps.
  • Carlos Sanchez, Director of Information Systems, who served from 1992-2000 in the Army, most of that time in the Pacific. Sanchez started out as an Infantryman at age 17 after graduating from high school and later attained the rank of Staff Sergeant and led a squad/platoon of infantrymen. “I am proud to have served and thankful to those that continue to serve and honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice,” he said. “The brotherhood is like no other.”

In an email to staff, Dr. Wilson said, “Local, state and national elections have been unlike anything I have ever experienced. But no matter the outcome(s), we are fortunate to live in a country that gives us the right and the opportunity to vote. But this freedom wasn’t ‘free’; the price was paid by the men and women who gave their lives, some literally, by serving in our military.”