The University of Memphis recently opened a Veterans Resource Center on campus to help military officials and their dependents benefit from a college experience.
Located in the Panhellenic Building, it is open daily to student veterans. The building offers access to a computer lab and lounge area.
There are more than 600 veterans, active duty and dependents, who attend the university in hopes of obtaining a degree in their chosen career paths.
The center was designed to assist student veterans in receiving educational and medical benefits, to seek counseling and to provide resources that will allow them to integrate into the campus community. The center also provides off-campus resources and information, including home loan programs.
“When you transition from normal life to being stationed away in the military, it can be a culture shock,” Hulk said. “It is the same way coming back from military life to society again. It can be difficult but we can find comfort by supporting each other.”
Veterans who visit the center daily want to raise awareness about the Student Veteran Organization (SVO) and want to encourage more service members to join and seek guidance. SVO also plans to host events and fundraisers for the program.
“Our mission is a veteran helping a veteran,” Hulk said. “We can assist each other with completing degree programs here and have a quiet place to go hangout with other students who are in the service.”
Justin Martin, a third class petty officer in the U.S. Navy, is a sophomore engineer technology major who aspires to work for the Department of Defense post-graduation. He works in the resource center and said it’s a great place to relax and get the stress of schoolwork off his mind.
“It resembles a recreation of military life,” Martin said. “We can help utilize other veterans and together we can all make the transition back to a normal lifestyle.”
The center is currently still searching for a veteran coordinator, but student veterans are working to encourage more veterans to join while providing answers to any questions regarding resources the center offers.