San Juan Capistrano – Assembly Member William P. Brough (R-Dana Point) recognized Kolin Williams as the 2020 Veteran of the Year for the 73rd Assembly District. Williams was presented with an Assembly Resolution surrounded by friends and family at the Saddleback College VETS Center. Kolin Williams served in the United States Army as an M1A1 Main Battle Tank Crewmember from 1995 to 1999. For his distinguished services he was awarded an Army Commendation Medal, a National Defense Service Medal and an Army Service Ribbon.
Throughout the course of American history, courageous individuals have taken up arms to secure, defend, and maintain the core principles upon which our nation’s freedoms depend. Kolin Williams is one such stellar individual of immense courage, patriotism and conviction. That is why Assemblyman Brough takes immense pleasure in recognizing Kolin Williams as the AD 73 Veteran of the Year for his service to our Country and his dedicated support of student veterans.
After his honorable discharge and return to civilian life, Kolin applied his G.I. Bill benefits at Sierra College and American River College (ARC) before transferring to California State University, Sacramento, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities and Master of Science degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling. In 2008, he was hired by ARC as a counselor for the Disabled Student Programs and Services office, where he worked in Special Services, General Counseling, and CalWORKs (California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids) and was the creator of and advisor to the ARC Association of Student Veterans.
A pioneer in veterans’ services in higher education, Kolin presented to the Academic Senate and Board of Governors and facilitated a faculty training on issues specific to disabled veterans. In 2010, he accepted the position of Veterans/Generalist Counselor at Saddleback College in Orange County, where he teaches the Boots-to-Books class for veterans and their spouses integrating into the campus community and advises the Saddleback Veterans Club.
In addition to his support of the veterans at Saddleback college, Kolin has generously given his time as a volunteer with the Board of the National Association of Veterans Program Administrators and as Vice President and Membership Chair of the Region 8 Veterans Program Administrators.
“For Kolin’s bravery and distinguished service and his continual graciousness and kindness, I am proud to be honoring him,” said Assemblyman Brough. “The selfless contributions of an individual like Kolin Williams are making our community a better place to live,” Brough concluded.
Saddleback College President Dr. Elliot Stern added, “Kolin Williams has been at the heart of our support for the veteran and military community in south Orange County for years,” continuing, “as a faculty member, his mentorship and counsel for students and his expertise in his field have been instrumental in making Saddleback College the college of opportunity in our region for our prior and active military community. We applaud this well-deserved recognition.”
As a veteran himself and former White House Liaison at the Department of Veterans Affairs under President George W. Bush, honoring our brave men and women in the armed forces is one the highest priorities for Assemblyman Bill Brough. While in the Assembly, Brough has supported and authored bills to make it easier for veterans to keep a job, pursue an education, and find housing.
Assemblyman William P. Brough represents the 73rd Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Aliso Viejo, Coto de Caza, Dana Point, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Las Flores, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Rancho Mission Viejo, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, and Trabuco Canyon.