By | Lauren Shea
The community space for student veterans has grown as the support for student veterans continues.
The Student Veterans Association cafe is up and running again. The café helps fund activities and events for student veterans. The café resides outside the Veterans office on the lower level of the library.
The food ranges from coffee to organic food and gluten free options. James Lamping, Forestry Major, talked about the type of food they have at the cafe.
“We usually try to have healthier options,” Lamping said. “Once we move into the larger community space, we would like to try to create SVA mason jars for students.”
Lamping is a U.S. Navy veteran where he spent six years in the service.
“The biggest off-putting factor of going back to school after the military is the huge age gap,” Lamping said. “Being 28 in college with people much younger than me was tough. It helps to find a common ground with people.”
The Student Veterans Association not only provides resources for student veterans, but a space to build relationships in a familiar community. They’re closely linked with the Student Veterans Association on the national level. They help to represent student veterans with programs such as the GI Bill and their healthcare and give them the opportunity to be heard and represented as a military population in the government but on a school level.
“The organization really puts a huge effort into creating awareness of the challenges that veterans go through when transitioning back into civilian life,” Lamping said.
Lamping had the support of the Veterans Resource Center at his community college.
“The transition wasn’t that insane to me, but I know people that have come out with PTSD and other mental trauma,” Lamping said. “It’s really important to have that community space where you can talk with people about it.”
One of their main goals is to create and have a community space for veterans to build a support system in a familiar community. They plan to have a soft opening of the space soon and hope to get grant money in the future to furnish it.
Some of the activities that the Student Veterans Association have are intramural sports. Last year, they played Dodgeball. This year they’re playing Volleyball. Their team is named the Blue Falcons.
Myra Hallman, the scribe for the association helps plan some of the events for the student veterans. She is also involved with planning activities in the Outdoor Program.
“The Outdoor Program really helps vets with getting them outdoors and decompressing,” Hallman said. “We’ve done quite a few different activities. Some of the activities we have are hiking, rafting, kayaking and snowboarding.”
Kim Hall, the Veterans Program Administrator, helps veterans transition, get enrolled and provide resources for their start at HSU.
“The program is run mainly by student veterans in the program,” Hall said. “We provide them with the sense of community for people transitioning into civilian life.”
The Student Veterans Association and the Veterans Transition services are closely tied with the Veterans Resource Center in Eureka.
“I think the support for veterans is important and the program helps bring awareness to community,” Hall said.
HSU veterans and students in the community will come together on Veterans Day to honor their services.