November 08, 2011

Veterans Center to host open house on Nov. 10

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Veterans Center will hold an open house later this week to showcase the University’s support of veterans.

The event is Thursday, Nov. 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The Veterans Center is in Woody Hall, Room B258.  The event is free and open to the public. 

Kristen Amaya, the University’s Veterans Center coordinator, said the open house offers an opportunity for students and the community to stop in and learn more about the services the Veterans Center offers.  Light refreshments will be available.

The University serves 617 student military veterans enrolled on the Carbondale campus for the fall 2011 semester.

Amaya said that military officials note a “growing gap” between military members and civilians’ understanding of the military-veteran culture.

“Our student veterans have served recently and many have experienced intense combat, putting their lives on the line for our country,” she said.  “Now they are in the classrooms and we are here to support them.”

The Veterans Center recently earned an Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs grant for a fourth consecutive year.  The grant will assist student veterans who need medical, dental, and counseling services, and also provide funds for workshops on issues that range from understanding veterans’ benefits to helping veterans improve their personal writing skills.

The Veterans Center is fully staffed by student veterans, and “is a welcoming environment for student veterans to seek assistance with any problem,” Amaya said.

Some of the services include advocacy for short-term classroom absences for National Guard and reserve duty, along with medical treatment for a service-connected injury; assistance with benefits paperwork, checklists for applications and military transcript requests, and health care referrals to the Veterans Administration.

For more information, contact Amaya at 618/453-1335.  More information on the Veterans Center is also available at