By Presley Green
Vol State Student Veterans of America is a club to promote the connectivity and networking among the veterans at Volunteer State Community College.
The club is designed for veterans and their dependents, but anyone is welcomed, student or faculty, veteran or not. However, veteran status is required to be on the board. The VSVA is a charter member of the National Student Veterans of America.
“The Vol State Veterans of America is a good program for veterans to be involved in because it gives them a network of people in the same situations. Most veterans now are coming from wartime situations. The VSVA lets them know others can relate to their struggles in classes or their transition from active duty to civilian life,” said Scott Hilgadiack, VSVA advisor.
The VSVA meets every Wednesday in Room 150 of the Ramer Administration Building. They also volunteer frequently with Veterans of Foreign Wars at the food pantry on Saturdays.
“Vol State’s Student Veterans of America Club is to help veterans at Vol State network because they are not all from here. A large part of our Vol State’s veterans was stationed at Fort Campbell. They might not have family or friends in the area, so Vol State’s Veterans of America is a family atmosphere for them,” said Penelope Starr, veterans affairs associate.
She went on to explain that a student used the word “family” when describing it to her, and since then it has stuck as the perfect explanation.
The purpose of Vol State’s Veterans of America Club is to provide resources, support and advocacy for veterans to help them succeed in higher education.
The VSVA has space in Ramer Room 150 referred to as the Vet Center. It is always open for veterans to hang out or use the computers. It is a quiet area for veterans to use for whatever purpose they need.
The Association of Vietnam Veterans of America of Sumner County, Chapter 240, keeps the Vet Center stocked with snacks for the VSVA. They even donated a Keurig.
Starr lets the Association know when the club are running low on snacks. They generously donate all kinds of snacks like Slim Jim’s, granola bars, chips, and coffee, she said.