Consider community resources, education this Veteran’s Day

November 7, 2017

Scribe Staff

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In 1918, Nov. 11 was commemorated as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

This is because Nov. 11, 1918 marked the end of World War I, which was considered to be the most destructive and far-reaching war by the U.S. Congress in 1926.

While Nov. 11 marks the end of WWI, it also serves to commemorate veterans who served in WWI and beyond. This week serves as a chance for our community to both honor and understand the veteran community in Colorado Springs.

The Office of Veteran and Military Student Affairs will host Veterans Week from Nov. 6 – 11 this week.

On Saturday, students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to participate in a 5k to celebrate veterans and donate to the Colorado Veterans Resource Coalition – Crawford
House, which supports homeless veterans in Colorado Springs.

This event serves an important purpose: celebrate our veterans and address common
issues and struggles that they may face.

In 2016, there were 407,616 veterans in Colorado. The majority of these veterans– around 35 percent– served in the Vietnam War.

In Colorado, all veterans deserve to be honored this Saturday. The holiday also provides an opportunity to spread awareness on aspects that need to be improved in the veterans’ community.

Luckily, the city is moving forward in implementing solutions for those who may be struggling.

Construction will begin for a housing unit, Freedom Springs – Mission United, for homeless veterans starting next year, according to the Colorado Springs Business Journal. Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center, which has provided services to veterans since 2011, will provide services to assist veterans in the transition from active duty to civilian life.

While the city works on projects to aid homelessness, students at UCCS should also take advantage of the opportunities offered to educate themselves on the veterans’ community at both UCCS and in Colorado Springs.

At UCCS, there are over 2,000 student veterans, making up approximately 16 percent of the UCCS student population.

UCCS offers specific veteran-focused services as well. Veterans can now go to the Wellness Center to be a part of the Veteran Interpersonal Skills Group and free counseling sessions to ease the transition.

Of course, The Office of Veteran and Student Military affairs exists to offer resources as well, including a textbook donation program and the Peer Advisors for Education Program, which links a new student veteran with one who has been on campus to provide academic and personal support.

Understanding the transition between active duty to civilian life and the set of challenges, including adapting to schoolwork and other civilian duties, that veterans face can allow the entirety of our student population to better understand the veterans community as a whole.

This Veterans’ Day, and throughout the week, take some time to learn about the history of the holiday.

Take some time to talk to a student veteran and learn.

Not because you feel obligated to, but because student veterans have given up many aspects of their lives to serve our country.

We can all benefit from education one another on our experiences.