By Alex Bacon/The AS Review
In celebration and commemoration of Veteran’s day, the AS Resource and Outreach Programs Veteran’s Outreach Center (VOC) and the President’s Office will be hosting a Veteran’s Day ceremony this Tuesday, Nov. 10, from 10:30 to 11 a.m. in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room.
In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. Initially, the day was meant to be a celebration of the veterans who served in World War I, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Web site, but after World War II, Congress amended the holiday to be Veteran’s Day in order to celebrate all veterans.
While the VOC sponsors the Veteran’s Day ceremony each November, the office also works throughout the school year to provide services for student veterans and their allies.
“The VOC provides veterans and their spouses with up-to-date information about educational benefits, counseling and benefit information,” Paul Wright, coordinator of the VOC, said. “It doesn’t matter what the issue is, though. If you come by the office we’ll be able to help.”
The VOC provides a variety of resources for veterans, such as information about the GI Bill and campus activities. But more than anything, the office helps them smooth their transition from the military into college.
In addition to the VOC, there are a number of groups on campus that support veterans. There is a veteran’s club, which has social events and works to build community among veterans. Their next event will be a social at 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 20, in Viking Union 714.
Additionally, there is the Veteran’s Affairs office located in the Registrar’s office. Also, many members of the Western faculty and staff are part of the Veteran Safe Zone, a campus-wide program to show support and recognition for students that have served (or are currently serving) in the military.
“In order to be a participant in the program, professionals at WWU choose to commit to ongoing education about veteran’s issues in addition to opening up their office, or offer their time, to a student veteran that may want to talk,” Jana Brost, a counselor for the DisAbility and Awareness Outreach Center, said.
“The main purpose is to educate professionals at WWU about the student veteran experience, to show support for these students and to honor these individuals for their service to our country, regardless of political viewpoints,” Brost said.
Veterans can access these employees by looking for the Veteran Safe Zone logo placed outside of individual offices or departments on campus.
For more information about on-campus resources available to veterans, contact the VOC at www.voc.as.wwu.edu.