CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - A new era of veterans just returning from the war in the Middle East. Southeast Missouri State University is among the first with a place to make the transition home and into their future lives easier.
But, coordinators at the Office of Military and Veterans Services say they want to reach out to all veterans - even if they aren't students.
The center is located on the the University Center. It is set up as a place to learn or relax. But the most important thing, is to give them the resources to find out about programs they qualify for from the G. I. Bill to emotional issues.
The center is run by veterans, spouses and dependents passionate about reaching out to service men and women.
"It's a great resource on campus," said Capt. Scott McCollum of the Missouri National Guard and Show Me Gold program. "They make sure they are the liaison to make sure that all the things these service members have earned are paid to them."
"They helped me coordinate my tuition and my school is paid for," said Josh Martin, student and member of the National Guard.
"It's really good for young veterans we also get to connect with older veterans and learn from each other," said student Jasmine Lewis, a member of the Missouri National Guard. "Forming that connection is priceless."
"We just want veterans to know we care and we understand what they've been through," said Veteran and President of The Student Veterans Organization, Jared Bush-Howe. "They know when they're talking to another veteran what they is true."
Everyone agrees the best part is that we are already recognizing our newest class or veterans.
Coordinators say it was actually those veterans of previous wars from World Wars to Korea and Vietnam that helped make the center a reality.
"We want this to be a place for the community," said Jeremy McBroom. McBroom served in three recent tours and serves as director. "Southeast Missouri State has really broken the mold when it comes to being veteran friendly."
Outreach Coordinator Amanda Woods agrees.
"As the spouse of a veteran I am passionate about helping them find the resources they need," Woods said. "They come in with questions of everything from tuition to counseling services."