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Honoring Veterans Year-Round

Special from Gold Coast Transit District
Oxnard, CA

Of the 10.2 million employed U.S. veterans, 7 percent of them, or approximately 712,000 individuals, work in the transportation industry, according to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Gold Coast Transit District (GCTD) in Oxnard, CA, is proud to claim some of them as its own, including bus operator Will Cattlidge, who served 21 years in the Marine Corps.

Will, who earned the rank of master drill sergeant, created a special educational project on Veteran’s Day to remind his fellow bus operators and other GCTD staff of the sacrifices veterans make for the nation. The project was inspired, in part, by the agency’s program to honor the 40,000-plus service members living in the area who receive a vets-only half-fare discount on buses and paratransit vehicles.

“While many of our local veterans may already qualify for a reduced fare due to age or disability, we recognize that many veterans who are not seniors or disabled still find it difficult to meet their transportation needs,” said Steven Brown, GCTD general manager. “It is our honor, and frankly our responsibility, to help our veterans where we can.”

Special Number 13
The number 13 figured prominently in Will’s project. He demonstrated how to make the 13 triangular folds in the U.S. flag, which is typically part of special ceremonies, and explained the significance of the folds. Will also created a “Fallen Comrade Table” that incorporated 13 specific elements to symbolize the sacrifices of service members who have fallen in the line of duty.

The special display also included photos of veterans and active duty personnel who are current and past GCTD employees and family members and a “Wall of Commemoration” that featured other photos, a “What Is a Veteran?” poster, memorabilia and various flags.

Gold Coast Transit District gathered to honor veterans, including, from left, Steven P. Brown, general manager; Will Cattlidge, bus operator and designer of an educational exhibit; Debbie Williams, director of human resources; and Bryan MacDonald, chair, GCTD Board of Directors and city of Oxnard councilmember.

Photo courtesy of Gold Coast Transit District

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