Vets valued in new club

According to PR Newswire, “soldiers are having difficulty adjusting to civilian life after serving in the military. Veterans have a higher-than-average unemployment rate and must often cope with physical and psychological injuries.”

Educating veterans is a tradition that started in 1946, long before Seton Hill University (SHU) was co-ed. Today, veterans and their dependents receive full-tuition benefits to attend SHU. In the newly established SHU chapter of Student Veterans of America club, veterans can also find guidance and camaraderie on campus.

The mission of the Veteran’s club is to help reintegrate veterans into academic and civilian life. “Some veterans do not know of all the things that they are entitled to, and one of my goals for the group is to help them realize what their benefits are,” said Harry Damerow, vice president.

“The Veteran’s club is here for all the veterans, spouses, family members and supporters to provide a friendly environment where people can develop long-lasting friendships that may live on after graduation,” said Jay Massiet, club president.

The club, founded in the spring of 2010 has held events in the MediaSphere and a commemoration for Veterans Day each year.

“As the advisor and a former captain in the Army Reserves, this club has a special meaning for me,” said Janice Beckage, coordinator of health education and staff nurse. “Both my sons were deployed to the Middle East during Operation Iraqi Freedom. They, along with many military personnel, have made a great sacrifice for our country.”

“The club is a chance to connect to like-minded people who know what it was like to serve,” said Massiat. “I have been to Iraq twice and only those associated with the military know what it’s truly like to be deployed.”

“[We want] to recruit active participants who want to help our club to grow. We need the opinions and ideas of all those who are interested,” said Massiet. The club’s Facebook page facilitates that communication among page subscribers.

“To me there is no more honorable profession than that of a soldier,” said Beckage.