Help For the Vets!🇺🇸 – Eunice Barron – Medium
Attention to all veterans!
There are resources and assistance for anyone coming back home, it’s important to know your benefits as a result of serving your country with honor.
Resources such as education, housing and among others are available as needed.
For education purposes, there are many aid and support services available in many schools.
Cerritos College is among of these educational institutions that help former military veterans that decide to pursue a higher education.
The Veterans Resource Center (VCR) is an initiative to nurture a welcoming campus culture for veteran students.
According to the VRC, this center was “founded on the premise that the challenges faced by veterans may be addressed through a combination of services stressing academics, camaraderie and wellness.”
By providing specialized staff, the center hopes to help any incoming students to “help themselves strive.”
The resource center provides all veterans priority registration for class enrollment, academic and psychological support.
Veterans receive special tutoring for english,mathematics or sciences and are provided with supplies such as calculators when needed.
Work study is offered at the resource center in which many students do take the opportunity to work there.
Other services are also offered such as medical benefits enrollment, mental health counseling, career services, technology training, on/off campus referrals, book loans, food assistance and among other veteran-related resources.
Felipe Salazar is the head counselor at the Veterans Resource Center at Cerritos College.
He makes sure any veteran that wishes to pursue his or her education will receive as much help as possible in order to be prepared.
Salazar helps guiding the student for any academic or special service aid that is needed in order to overcome any challenge that into their way.
“ We try to help them navigate their goals may be whether it’s a degree [or] transferring into the four year institution.”
“Our goal is to meet their academic goals here at the college.” he adds.
Adrian Ramirez is the part-time Activities Recreational coordinator in the Cerritos College Veteran Center.
Ramirez peer mentors, assists officials and administers work study at the center.
While many veteran students are successfully assisted for a higher education, unfortunately it is not always the case for every student.
As a veteran himself, he explains the challenges for many people serving in the military of coming back to adjust into society.
“ I’ve seen veterans who are very lost and have mental health issues.” he said.
“ I’ve seen [some] struggle, they give up on their academics and actually go back to the military because they couldn’t adjust.” he explained.
Ramirez admits that he understands the struggle of being deployed and having the feeling of being isolated into society without any sort of guide.
“We try to alleviate all the things [ whether is for school or emotional support] by walking these guys through it especially then they initially come here.” he said.
Ramirez hopes to continue to help incoming students and to offer as much support as possible.
“ As an educator, I try to promote education but I’m here for them in whatever they need.” he smiled.
There are also other places outside of educational institutions that offer resources and assistance.
The American Legion is the nation’s largest and most powerful organization of U.S. wartime veterans and their families.
According to the Legion, there are about 2.3 million members who operate through more than 13,000 posts across the United States and beyond.
Since its start by Congress in 1919, the organization has delivered substantial improvements for veterans, families and communities.
The Legion drafted and drove home passage of the GI Bill and the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
It has brought existence dozens of health-care benefits for veterans and programs “designed to provide civilian careers after discharge.”
Other resources are also provided such as education, child-care, careers and among others.
The Norwalk American Legion Post 359 Family center is a place where veterans, families and those to have the chance to congregate, enjoy the company of others or donate time towards those who keep the “liberties secure.”
William “Bill” and Melissa Braicov are the main people who run the Legion post center since 2018.