Connecting with fellow vets
It’s impossible to put a value on the support and camaraderie that veterans provide for each other: staying connected with other men and women who have experienced similar trials and tribulations offers a unique sense of comfort that can’t be found anywhere else. No matter what path veterans choose, knowing others who came from a similar environment gives them the ‘allies’ that they wouldn’t otherwise have. If your campus doesn’t have a veterans club or something similar, check out organizations like the Student Veterans of America to start your own chapter.
Veteran resources, like ACI’s SOAR Student Assistance Program, are trying to change the stigma and inform student-veterans of what’s out there. Putting yourself out there will make you get noticed, but we want to make sure they know that’s okay. From finding out that military experience can translate to class credit, to developing a road map to success, to simply getting to know those who are there to serve you, there is nothing to lose in putting yourself out there.
The United States places a huge amount of resources in getting our vets back to work. The process, however, which is made up of many benefits and transition programs, is not always clear-cut and can be quite confusing. That’s where veteran resources especially help: aiding in the certification and maximization of benefits, providing information for county and state resources, and advising academic progress. As with any government program, the answers veterans seek are not always readily available. But with the right support, veteran benefits can be utilized in a straightforward and efficient manner.
Using school as a transition
All in all, college provides veterans with the medium necessary to shift from the rigid structure of military life to the inconsistency that is civilian life. On top of that, college gives veterans the skills necessary to put them ahead in their job-search, and can even compliment their military skills and lead to a service-related job (for example, aiding other student-vets)