Ohio State recently partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs through the VetSuccess on Campus program in order to provide further assistance to military veterans who are making the transition to college life.
VetSuccess on Campus aims to help veterans, current service members and qualified dependents to succeed in completing their educations and getting jobs after graduation, according to the program’s website.
Some OSU students who are veterans said the program seems promising.
Fourth-year in criminal justice Kyle Smith said the new program will give veterans who are students more of an opportunity to have “face time” with college representatives of the military.
Smith, who is also a staff sergeant and crew chief in the United States Air Force, said although OSU has been helpful in general, the university could do more to assist veteran students.
“Vets 4 Vets was the only organization on campus that helped me and I wasn’t aware of its existence until I stumbled upon it myself,” Smith said. “Ohio State needs to do a better job of informing veterans about the programs and services that are available to them.”
OSU Vets 4 Vets is a student-run organization comprised mostly of military veterans who offer support to veterans in college. It works to provide the students with opportunities related to networking and community service, according to the organization’s website.
Vets 4 Vets President Samantha Allen, a fourth-year in environmental policy and a former United States Marine, welcomes OSU bringing in a like-minded organization.
Anything OSU does to help veterans complies with the mission statement of Vets 4 Vets, Allen said.
VetSuccess on Campus began in 2009 at the University of South Florida and is expected to have developed sites at 94 different campuses by the end of fiscal year 2013, according to its website.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has provided OSU with its own representative as it brings in VetSuccess on Campus, liaison Denise Bays-Napier.
Bays-Napier referred The Lantern to Mike Forrest, the director of Veterans Transition and Services at OSU, for comment.
Forrest said Bays-Napier is a full-time federal employee whose primary focus will be placed on providing veteran students with the resources they will need in order to succeed.
Bays-Napier will also be charged with assisting veteran students in attaining healthcare through the Department of Veterans Affairs, Forrest said.