New support center aims to help MU veterans in transition

Monday, November 10, 2008 | 5:51 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — A new one-stop Veterans Center at MU will help to improve returning veterans' transition into student life.

The center is a product of Chancellor Brady Deaton’s "Task Force for a Veteran-Friendly Campus," which has been researching other campus' veterans programs for almost a year. Committee tri-chair Roger Worthington said the task force recommended the one-stop center because of the increasing number of veterans expected to return to MU in the near future.

MU Veterans Week

These are the activities planned for MU's Veterans Week:

Monday, Nov. 10:

-Mizzou Student Veterans Association Banquet; 7 p.m., Eckles Hall, MU

Tuesday, Nov. 11:

-Mizzou Air Force ROTC Annual Veterans Day Vigil, Parade and Ceremony:

Vigil: 7 a.m. to 11:11 a.m., Boone County Courthouse, 705 E. Walnut St.

Parade: 10:40 a.m., from MU Columns to Boone County Courthouse

Ceremony: 11 a.m., Boone County Courthouse

-Tigers 4 Troops; all day, Memorial Student Union

-Free Crafternoon: Thank You Cards for Veterans; noon to 4 p.m., N12 Memorial Student Union, MU

-Veterans Day Celebration; noon, Memorial Student Union, MU

Movie: Black Hawk Down; 7 p.m., Jesse Wrench Auditorium, Memorial Student Union, MU

Wednesday, Nov. 12:

-Sgt. Matt Eversmann, hero of Black Hawk Down and editor of "The Battle of Mogadishu":

Book signing; 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., University Bookstore, MU

Lecture; 7 p.m., Conservation Auditorium, MU

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"The center is going to be the centerpiece of a campus-wide initiative to be veteran-friendly," Worthington said. "It will take on the responsibility of implementing the additional recommendations."

The task force also recommended increasing the outreach to student and employee veterans, improving the transition to and from active duty and incorporating veteran status into MU's record keeping.

Daniel Sewell, president of the Mizzou Student Veterans Association, said the main difficulty veterans face is the shock of coming back to a college setting.

"You can compare it to going to a foreign country without any idea of what to expect," Sewell said. "A lot of us don’t understand what takes place at a university and how a college works."

The center will take care of the whole veteran, said Carol Fleisher, interim director of the center. It will be a resource and referral center, helping student veterans to choose classes and then find careers after graduating.

"We will take care of their ongoing needs. It is their office," Fleisher said. "Mizzou has always been good to its veterans, but this is going to free up more people to do even more for them."

The center, which is located in W1018 Lafferre Hall, should be open by the first week of December. Until that time, Fleisher will be working out of her office at 230 Jesse Hall.

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