Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Students Ralley Around a New Club For Veterans at Vol State

Student Veterans of America (SVA) is an organization that focuses on helping those with military experience locate every possible resource to succeed academically.  Now the SVA has representation at Vol State. 

As President of the club, William (Boyd) Kernodle is eager to assist those interested in higher education.

“If a vet is thinking about returning to school, he or she should do research about the benefits available,” said Kernodle.  “Use the ones that are most effective for you.  There are scholarships out there sponsored by many organizations.  Though we do not have a dedicated advisor at this time, there are a number of people on campus that can give someone direction about how to get the most out of your education.  Including staff, we are pushing thirty members and anyone interested in being part of our support group is welcome to join - even if they are not a veteran."   Kernodle proudly added, “Of course since I’m Navy, that’s who I root for at the football games, and we have ten in a row, Baby!”

Retired Major Ken Hanson, is also inspired to help equip US vets with all the tools they need for both school and their careers.  After 22 years of military service, he is now the coordinator for Vol State Veterans Affairs He has already walked a number of students through the basics of getting reoriented to civilian life.

It is surprising that many don’t even realize some of the basic VA benefits,” said Hanson.  “There are a lot of resources available such as the GI bill, or possibly any disabilities they had while they were in the military.  Another program is Vocational Rehabilitation, we call it voc-rehab for short.  We guide them to find resources and help with networking on the campus.  Veterans are used to being on a team where they always feel like family, but now they are coming to a campus atmosphere. We don’t want them to think they are on their own.  This will also help them with a career once they graduate.  We have members from Vietnam, Iraq, and Desert Storm.  We cover all five branches, Navy, Air Force, Army, Marines, and Coast Guard.” 

If you would like to show support or find out more information email Ken Hanson or stop by or visit the SVA Club. They meet the second and fourth Monday every month at 1:30 pm in the cafeteria. 

Volunteer State Community College

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