Veteran students get access to help

Military group on campus PHOTO COURTESY OF UNO
Military group on campus

By Jared Kennedy
News Editor

The Department of Veteran’s Affairs’ “Veteran Success on Campus” program (VSOC) has been on campuses all over the country since 2009.

University of Nebraska at Omaha is now a participating member of the VSOC program, which connects veteran students with resources they need to help get through college.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) places experienced vocational rehabilitation counselors on college campuses to assist the growing number of service members, veterans and dependents attending school under the post-9/11 GI Bill and other VA educational programs.

VSOC counselor Anna Sabina-Stratton is trained to provide academic and vocational guidance to Veterans, and help connect them to other VA benefits. This includes health care and mental health services. The VSOC counselors maintain close relation-ships with local Veteran Centers and veterans medical facilities, referring service members, veterans and dependents as needed and providing assistance applying for VA medical and non-medical benefits.

The University of Nebraska at Omaha is at the top of the list for veteran friendly schools. In recent years the veterans affairs department has amped up its outreach to veteran students. This effort became even more aggressive after UNO was officially named the number one best school in the country for veterans.

Veteran students can walk into the veterans affairs office at any time and talk to full time staffers, the new effort has been aimed mostly at getting those students to actually come in.

Programs like VSOC help really extend that effort and make college an inclusive experience for veterans. Vet Success on Campus services are available to service members and veterans eligible for any of VA educational programs, including the post 9/11 GI Bill and Montgomery GI Bill, as well as VA vocational rehabilitation and employment pro-gram.

VSOC counselors can also assist dependents of veterans who are receiving VA education benefits. This includes eligible spouses attending school through the post 9/11 GI Bill and eligible children.

The VA Education and Career Counseling Program offers resources for transitioning service members and veterans to get personalized counseling and support to guide their career paths. The program also helps ensure the most effective use of their VA benefits, and help them achieve their goals.

The UNO VSOC counselor can be found on campus at the Office of Military and Veteran Services, Eppley Administration Building, Suite 108.