Student Veterans of America provides support for veterans

Guest Column: Student Veterans of America Jake Kokowicz

Following the Sept. 11, 2001 World Trade Center attacks, the U.S. launched Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) (Afghanistan) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) (Iraq).

However, as OEF and OIF veterans returned home to use GI Bill benefits, their campuses did not provide adequate support services to assist student veterans as they worked towards their educational goals.

Lacking support, student veterans decided to organize on campuses across the country. These groups began to connect through social media to spread best practices, share success stories, and support one another to strengthen the student veteran community further.

On January 23rd in 2008, members from various chapters formalized this grassroots movement, and Student Veterans of America was born at the first National Conference (NatCon) in Chicago.

Student Veterans of America (SVA) promotes veterans’ academic, professional, and personal development in higher education through chapter programs and services, outcomes and impacts research, and advocacy at every level. With a mission focused on empowering student veterans, SVA is committed to providing an educational experience beyond the classroom.

Since the founding of SVA in 2008, over one million veterans have returned home to attend college to pursue a degree.

SVA conceived and unanimously passed in Congress the first significant update to the GI Bill in a decade, known commonly as the Forever GI Bill. President George W. Bush signed this bill into effect on June 30, 2008. This bipartisan legislation impacts the lives of approximately 1 million students, distributing more than $12 billion in benefits annually, and is allowing veterans to get an education after their challenging and lengthy service to our country.

Are you interested in joining a group that is focused on helping you reach your full potential?

The Student Veterans of America chapter at SVSU is all about you reaching that point and would like to invite you to an event that will inform you of why we are here, what we do to empower our members, and how we can help you reach the full potential you are striving for.

The members of the SVA chapter at SVSU, and many chapters across the nation, work hard to provide SVSU military-connected students and students in general with the necessary resources, advocacy, network support, and social networking skills that help them ensure they can effectively connect, expand their skills, and help them reach their full potential.

Please join us from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 10 in the new Military Student Affairs Office in Curtiss Hall 125 for an SVA information session, answers to any questions you may have about SVA, and to enjoy lunch.

If you join us for lunch, you will receive an entry to win four free sessions of axe throwing at The Bearded Axe in Saginaw on Bay Road, along with other prizes. We can’t wait to see you there!

If you have any questions, you can contact the president of SVA, Jake Kokowicz, at militarystudent@svsu.edu or by calling the Military Student Affairs office at 989-964-2462.

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