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A veteran community at HSU

The SVA on kayaking trip to Big Lagoon Photo credit: Myra Hallman

By | Charlotte Rutigliano

With a strong sense of community, the Student Veterans Association (SVA) have been helping student veterans since 2008.

SVA President James Lamping said that the club is about creating an atmosphere and peer to peer support for veterans, dependents, and active service members on campus.

“We having monthly meetings to help create a community on campus for veterans,” Lamping said. “This kind of club can help with a veterans transitions back to civilian life.”

Navy veteran and Environmental Science major Heather Navle-Stierley said that when she got out of the military in August of 2015, she had very little support.

“The SVA has helped me transition into student life,” Navle-Stierley said. “Military life was all I had ever known since I was 18 years old.”

Navle-Stierley, who is also acting SVA vice-president said that she has always felt welcomed and not judged for being a combat veteran with little civilian life experience.

According to Kim Hall, Veterans Coordinator as of Fall 2017, there are around 740 veteran affiliated students on campus, ranging from veterans, dependents, and active service members.

“We have around 180 veterans, 585 dependents, and a handful of active duty service members,” Hall said.

Air Force veteran and marketing major Myra Hallman is one of 22 registered members of the SVA. She said that being apart of SVA gives her a way to contribute to the community in different ways, and it helps polish her leadership and time management skills.

According to Hallman, the SVA recently ran a supply drive to help the families in need down in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

“It’s a small way to help those in need,” Hallman said.

Hallman said that she feels very fortunate to have an opportunity to work with some of the best and brightest student veterans at HSU through the SVA.

According to Lamping, the club here on campus is part of a larger national organization called Student Veterans of America.

“Student Veterans of America helps campuses nationwide create community resource centers,” Lamping said. “We’re opening up one here in Library Room 55, within the next few weeks or so.”

According to Lamping, the SVA will be going to San Antonio, Texas during the winter break for the Student Veterans of America conference, which brings together thousands of student veterans from across the country.

“We’ll being driving an RV there and back,” Lamping said. “The RV is gonna have a big HSU and SVA logo on the sides.”

Lamping and Hallman said that they will be documenting the entire trip and sharing the clubs journey on social media as part of a marketing campaign for Student Veterans of America.

“We’ve been talking to the marketing and communications team about taking over the Instagram page for the trip,” Lamping said.

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