Portraits of Courage

The Veterans Resource Center is proud to showcase Portraits of Courage, highlighting the stories of current and past Cal State LA student veterans who have served our nation with honor and distinction. Each month, we will introduce a new honoree.


Dalilia Minter, smiling

Dalila Minter

Dalila enlisted in the military upon graduating high school, shortly after 9/11.

“My country and my values were under attack. The armed forces allowed me to serve the United States for a higher purpose,” she said.

Dalila served in the U.S. Navy for five years aboard the USS Kitty Hawk and the USS Carol Vinson. During her two deployments to Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, she transitioned from a Pollywog to a Shellback.

In 2007, she was honorably discharged and started her educational journey at Pasadena City College. A parent with three children, Dalila graduated with an associate’s degree in behavioral science in 2017.

Her quest continued at Cal State LA in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in sociology with an emphasis in law and society.

“As a student veteran, mother, wife, and business owner, this was no easy task. I had to sacrifice my time, energy, and effort. However, the blood, sweat, and tears were worth the return,” she said.

She graduated in spring 2020 and is now proud alumni with plans to go to law school.



Brett Hernandez, shaved head, full beard

Brett Hernandez
Brett served in the United States Navy for 8 ½ years. Stationed in San Diego, Japan and the Great Lakes Naval Station in Illinois, Brett has completed several deployments throughout Southeast Asia on board the aircraft carriers USS Kitty Hawk and USS George Washington.

In 2011, he was honorably discharged and began his pursuit in higher education, aspring to work in the entertainment industry. To date, Brett has obtained a certificate in Video Production & Digital Media, Associate of Art in Journalism and he is currently completing his Bachelor of Arts in Television, Film & Media Studies at Cal State LA. He is on track to graduate in fall 2020.