WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)—Did you know there are more than 200 veterans and 150 military-connected students on Purdue's campus?
This Veterans Day, we're learning how the university works to make sure student veterans are set up for success.
The Veterans Success Center at Purdue University opened in 2014. The center works to support military-involved students through life's biggest transitions in four ways.
The first is supporting students during the transition from the military into higher education.
Jamie Richards, Director of the Veterans Success Center at Purdue, says that first transition can sometimes be the hardest.
"When you're in the service you have a very tight group of people that you work with. You know who you trust within your unit and have developed that trust," he explained. "When you step foot on campus, which is harder to navigate, you've lost that core group of friends that you had and those working relationships."
The center also works to change campus policies to help make it a better place for veterans and military-connected students to pursue their degrees.
The third way the center aids student veterans is through helping them transition to the workforce after college.
Lastly, the center is the main place for students to have access to all military education benefits.
Richards said there are a lot of challenges for student veterans and military members. One of those challenges is developing friendships.
"That camaraderie is supported through our Student Veterans Organization," Richards explained. "And they really provide a lot of that social outlet as well as community service."
While going through these life changes, Richards said the community can help to support veterans and military members as well.
"Being patient with some of those transitions," he said. "Understanding that it might take them a little while to figure out the culture of where they're working now, or the culture of where they're going to school now, and how to adapt to it."
Richards explained everybody in the service is either classified as a hero or a broken veteran, and everyone should be aware of that.
"You may be working with someone or supporting someone in higher education or hiring someone that has a unique set of attributes and experiences that other people don't have, so be open to that."
The Veterans Success Center is hosting a Veterans Day Ceremony Monday.
There are three guest speakers, plus patriotic displays with photos and memorabilia.
The event goes from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Union Great Hall.
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