Veterans Affairs office moves to new location, remains accessible

SARA BERTSCH Editor-in-Chief

With more than 300 students utilizing military benefits on campus, the Veterans Affairs Office keeps busy.

The office moved to a new location in Spencer Hall over the summer. This new location sits on the main floor near the front desk, which formerly held Jax Snax. 

“The students are nonstop in the VA office. It’s all we can do to support them,” said Michelle Ruesink, the director of Veterans Affairs.

The new location provides more “store front” opportunities, Ruesink said. And so far, they’ve heard a lot of positive feedback about the new location.

Easy accessibility is not the only aspect the VA office strives for. Their goal is to serve all veterans on campus. They do this through outreach and assistance in their educational success. 

Thomas Mitzel experienced this first hand. Mitzel received active duty orders in the middle of finals week last semester. The VA office helped him talk to professors and get things taken care of.

Mitzel, a sophomore majoring in wildlife and fisheries, utilizes the VA office whenever he can. In fact, he almost missed out on the GI Bill, which is a law that provides a range of benefits for veterans.

“They answered any questions I had,” Mitzel said. “I recommend it for any veteran, guard or reserve member.”

Helping students with their GI Bill is one aspect of the VA office’s duties. Tyler Jacob, a work study student for the office, works with veterans on a daily basis. He is also a veteran himself.

Jacob has been deployed twice, which he believes makes him very suitable for his job in the office.

“It’s my own community and my own family. It’s people I’ve personally been deployed with. We’re a very tight-knit group,” Jacob said.

The Veterans Resource Center, located in the lower level of The Union, is another area that veterans utilize.

The VRC serves as a study room and a community gathering area. Here students can build relationships and connect with other veterans.

“It gives them a sense of belonging,” Jacob said.

But it’s not all money and funding.  Recently they had a rapelling venture during the veteran welcome back.