Riverside Regional Jail held its second annual Veterans Day ceremony on November 7, 2017 in Housing Unit 4’s gym. The ceremony is centered on those in the inmate population who have been selected to participate in Riverside’s Veteran’s Housing Unit Project (VHUP). There were 38 VHUP veterans in attendance. Participants in the project are required to have served at least one year active duty in any branch of the U.S. Military and to have separated from the military under honorable circumstances. Participants in the VHUP are held to a higher standard of conduct than in the general population and are expected to make continuing and meaningful contributions to the program. The rank structure within the unit is appointed by the residents under the supervision of staff.
The Keynote Speaker for the ceremony was Command Sergeant Major Ronald L. Smith, Jr. CSM Smith is currently assigned to the 29th Infantry Division, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He recently returned from an extended overseas deployment with the Combined Joint Operations Center—Jordan, in conjunction with Operation Inherent Resolve, the operations conducted against ISIS’ forces in Syria and Iraq. CSM Smith addressed the need for personal leadership, the need for dealing with adversity and the need for maintaining commitment and resolve. CSM Smith was presented with token gifts from the Programs Department following his address to the VHUP participants.
The VHUP choir, under direction of Mrs. Collins sang the National Anthem and God Bless the USA; Mrs. Collins performed a solo rendition.
Besides the VHU veterans, all veterans in attendance were served fried chicken, soda and pastries at the conclusion of the ceremony.