Pierce College is home to many different clubs. The Student Veterans of America club is one of them, and its goal is to unite fellow soldiers who attend the college.
The Student Veterans of America club is a nationally recognized club, and the branch at the Puyallup campus is meant to help veterans transition from military life to student life and to connect veterans all across the campus.
Club adviser Paula Edelman said that sometimes after veterans return from deployment they come straight to Pierce without any knowledge of the veterans’ programs.
When some of them come to the campus they have Post Traumatic Brain Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, and other issues, said Edelman, who works at the program coordinator of the college’s Veterans Education Benefits Office.
The club’s main mission is to help veterans realize what Pierce has to offer, it also provides support to veterans who are going through rough times. Club members welcome veterans from any branch of the military and anyone who wishes to help contribute to the club.
“People don’t understand that a large population of the students are veterans,” Club President Ryan Mitchell said.
Mitchell explained that the club could help with just about anything, from schoolwork to emotional support. When the veterans were in the service, they behaved like a brotherhood; they joked, played around and supported one another.
“When you leave, it’s like being just yanked out,” said Mitchell, who hopes that the club will bring back the same atmosphere veterans had while serving.
The club currently has more than a dozen members and they’ve scheduled meetings at least once a month to connect and share experience. Club members hope to make a permanent room in the veterans’ admission office to meet.
“It’s starting to make a positive impact,” Mitchell said. “Veterans like talking to veterans who share similar experiences.”
The club is fairly new, having only started in late October. Club Vice President Brandon Dawley said the club is coming along according to plan. Members posted flyers and created a PowerPoint, he said.
“We are starting the process of branching out,” Dawley said. “We are just looking for more veterans to get involved and informed.”
Dawley wants to be sure veteran students use the beneficial veteran programs the college has to offer. Pierce was named 14th best two-year college in the nation for veterans.
In the future, the club members hope to organize events to help veterans outside of the college, including a coat drive. They also plan to get in touch with other Students of America clubs from other colleges.
The club members can be contacted in the administration building in Room A115.
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