Benefits available to student veterans on campus

by Ronny Parayno, contributor

As a student veteran, I have attended this university for over four years.  Fortunately, I had the opportunity to learn and grow, but it did not come without obstacles.  In 2007, the university did not have the Vet Resource Center or VA certifying officials.  This new office can be a point of contact for students looking for answers to their questions typically encountered by military members, veterans, family members, faculty, or staff.  These are only a few of the elements they need to progressively develop full-fledged veteran, military, and dependent programs for these men and women.  Next, we as students must make a choice to help these students.  I choose to help, and I hope others will follow.  Here is the plan we should take:

  • Talk about the military in an open discussion utilizing university venues
  • Introduce yourself to someone you know is in the military or a veteran
  • Work with staff, faculty, and students to develop social awareness
  • Attend Student Veterans of University of Alaska Anchorage club meetings
  • Support student government by attending assembly meetings and speak about your concerns

In closing, if you are a student who is interested in serving those who are currently serving or have served their country, then contact me at raparayno@alaska.edu with the subject heading “Military Friendly”.  Secondly, while you are waiting for my response, you can seek out opportunities that involve members of the military community at the new center or the Student Veterans of the University of Alaska Anchorage club.  For more information, visit Collegiate Link.  In the meantime, I look forward to getting your inputs.

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