Organization hopes to assist veterans with transition to civilian life.
By Richard Montemayor
A student group that started in spring 2014 for veterans enrolled at this college will have an open meeting 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday in front of Loftin Student Center in the mall area.
“Our goal is to help military veterans get back into the real world by helping them to get back to work and back into society,” said Steven Price, founder of the Student Veterans Association. He is a former U.S. Army sergeant who served for seven years in Panama, Honduras and El Salvador.
The organization reaches out to veterans to determine their needs and to serve as an advocate.
“This is a great opportunity to gain and show some visibility, to network and engage in providing our own SVA membership growth, development and outreach, to student veterans, their dependents and our student body as a whole,” Price said.
This college’s Veterans Affairs Office fully supports the SVA, said coordinator Trey Kelley.
The SVA has more than 75 members, while this campus has 3,000 student veterans enrolled this semester, Price said.
“We look at it as an association made up of veterans that will continue to support and increase the educational goals of their fellow veterans,” Kelley said. His office assists all eligible veterans in obtaining financial assistance and information on veterans’ benefits on campus.
Since SVA’s founding in February, many military organizations have offered sponsorship support for the group, Price said.
He said the SVA received a formal request for sponsorship from Chris Vieyra Jr., commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars District 20, and Armando G. Sanchez, senior vice commander of VFW Post 8397. They want to work with a small group of U.S. Army recruiters along with SVC members to encourage student veterans to join SVC.
Kelley said the SVA will not only have a positive impact on this college’s veteran student body, but also the college and the community as a whole.
Price said he hopes the association eventually can have a facility on campus. As of now, the only student veterans group in Alamo Colleges that has such a facility is at St Philip’s.
By having such a facility, Price said it would not only benefit veterans but also their families, who might be attending college as well.
“When my daughter comes here for college, she could use my VA bill to help pay for it and use the student veterans facility,” Price said.
For more information, call 210-529-1222.