By Stephanie Woodward |Staff Writer|
The CSUSB Veterans Success Center (VSC), located next to the Bookstore, has served many Veterans.
Due to all the success, they have opened a second success center on the Palm Desert Campus.
VSC offers Veterans academic support such as free tutoring, use of computers and free copying.
CSUSB was ranked 12th in “Best for Vets: Colleges 2014” by the Military Times.
Veterans of the U.S. armed forces are eligible for a broad range of services and programs, such as health care benefits, home loan guarantees and transition assistance, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
However, a segment featured on ABC 10 News San Diego, reported that Veterans are not receiving the assistance they need.
Former employees of the VA benefit’s call centers, said that not enough time was given to adequately help Veterans according to the featured segment.
“You hear somebody say, tell you, ‘I served my country and this is what I get?’” said former VA Phoenix call center employee Terry Ybay to ABC 10.
With a lack of services many Veterans begin to feel hopeless, as the transition back into civilian life can be very difficult.
Health coverage is one of the many major issues Veterans face upon returning.
“By getting out in the field and talking with Veterans and learning as much as possible, I will be able to determine the processes that would need to be reorganized and streamlined,” stated McDonald.
About 300,000 Veterans live within 40 miles of the nearest VA hospital or clinic are now receiving “choice cards,” which allow them to see local doctors at the expense of the VA.
There is an estimated 22 suicides a day by Veterans, according to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America are pushing for legislation that would require a review of all mental health and suicide prevention programs offered by the VA, and create a test program to recruit more psychiatrists, according to The Fresno Bee.
CSUSB, has a mental health support group that meets once a week in the VSC to express personal troubles.
Katie James, a Marine Veteran on campus who served for six years and is now a junior studying accounting.
“I love our Veterans Center. It is outstanding.
It provides us with all the services we need and a sense of community. Getting help from our school is much easier than getting help from outside centers,” said James.
According to a poll done by The Washington Post, about 50 percent of people do not believe we are doing enough for our Veterans.
“What is striking about this data is how multidimensional the problem is — showing how difficult it is to solve,” according to The Washington Post writer by Michèle A. Flournoy.
On a state, local, and federal level Veteran programs and assistance provisions are adequate at best.
However, there are many initiatives to enact and persistent issues to resolve if we would like to ensure the ongoing prosperity of our Veterans.
Providing proper Veteran assistance should be considered a priority.
Our campus goes above and beyond to help our Veterans, and as a nation we should be doing the same.