USD Magazine, Winter 2004

5:55 a.m. It's chilly and still dark when Corp. Veronica Perez (above, far left) lines up with the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corp students for head count in the Olin Hall parking lot. For the battalion, which includes students from five local univer– sities, the Tuesday morning ritual , fol– lowed by drills or guest speakers, gives students ataste of military life. Perez, an international relations major, says she enjoys the camaraderie inherent in NROTC. The program, she says, taught her the importance of taking responsibility for her actions, which in a military setting can affect the lives of many others. Someday the 22-year-old Perez hopes to become an officer in the Marine Corps. "It's very professional," says Perez, one of 1Ochildren raised in a home where organization couldn't always be a top priority. "It's nice to have structure." 7:33 a.m. Security officer Otis Lambert is the first face most students and employees see at USO every morning. As drivers pass the kiosk at the main campus entrance, Lambert doles out waves, parking passes, advice on the best parking spots and directions - all with a trademark smile. He knows all the regulars, many who stop to exchange pleasantries. "Aren 't you freezing?" asks awoman on her way to Mass at The lmmaculata. "No, I got the heater going," Lambert assures her, as he sends her off with a handshake and parking pass. "If I miss a day of work, they know it. If I go on vacation, they know it," says the 66-year-old Lambert, who's been on the job for four years. "I love this job, and I haven't thought about retirement. Work and fun , you can 't beat it. "



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