Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Campus group contacting veterans

The Campus Veterans Association, UA’s campus organization devoted to fellow military personnel, is reaching out to assist other veterans.

Like many persons affected by the storm on Wednesday, some veterans have lost their homes and are sheltering with friends and family members. Right now one of the main issues CVA faces is communicating with veterans.

“Our biggest problem right now is communication with veterans in the area,” said James Jenkins, vice president of CVA. “We have better communication than we did the other day. Hopefully they can be a little bit better tomorrow since Tyrone Travis will be back in the office on Monday. The biggest thing is communication so we can find out what types of needs veterans have in the area.”

Communication right now among veterans has mainly been through resources such as word of mouth, Facebook and Twitter.

“Right now we haven’t had anyone contact us,” Jenkins said. “Whether there’s people out there that need help, we don’t know yet. That’s just our biggest problem right now—we’re having communication issues with people.”

Founder of CVA Ashkan Bayatpour said, “We’ve pretty much tracked down most of our veterans. One of our advisors, who works for the university, is in a hotel and he’s trying to do what he can for there…we’re going to be able to send out a massive email on Monday and say ‘please everyone respond so we know you’re all accounted for.’ Like everything else, it’s a slow-moving process.”

Bayatpour said there was one veteran in particular whom CVA members had been unable to contact, but he is now accounted for. The veteran lost his cell phone in the storm and soon after the tornado hit was out in the community assisting others in the rescue operation. During this time the veteran bumped into another veteran.

“It’s going to be a couple months process trying to get everyone settled back in, so if you know someone take them in and help them out because a lot of our veterans are actually out there helping in the city right now,” Bayatpour said. “It’s a good distraction for them, but they still need a place to come home to and take a shower and everything like that.”

CVA is currently working on fundraising through the Alabama Veterans and Senate in Birmingham. Jenkins said they should have funds available soon to assist veterans. There are plans of hosting an event in the next couple of days and coordinate efforts such as adopting a family as helping in any way possible.

It was recently announced that a group from Team Rubicon will be teaming up with CVA and assisting in relieving some of the stress on veterans. As stated on the Rubicon website,, TR has activated a team of veterans and firefighters to provide disaster relief in Alabama. As a part of TR’s initiative to “engage returning veterans in disaster relief projects across the country,” the team will focus entirely on cleanup efforts.

The city of Tuscaloosa asked for military volunteers to assist in the rescue and recovery of the damaged community. Many CVA members are now out helping others in the community including handing out food and water in Alberta City.

“We’ve been helping people in the community and CVA members–trying to get their houses tarped up before it rains tomorrow,” said Will Suclupe, president of CVA. “We’re trying to get a volunteer contracting permit. We’re going to get some chainsaws and we’re going to start helping people move debris from around their homes. We’re definitely involved in some form every day.”

If there are any veterans who have been displaces or are in need of relief contact Jenkins at 205-534-8926 or at 205-462-3544. If you’re a veteran and you need some assistance Suclupe can also be contacted through email at [email protected].

When the University resumes normal business hours on Monday, CVA will be sending out an email to all members to ensure everyone is safe.

“If any veteran—whether they’re a student veteran, faculty member that’s a veteran or a staff member at the university—could contact us, we’ll try to get people out there to help them and just try to get their life back to as normal as possible,” Jenkins said.

“We’re also doing a veteran’s relief fund for veterans who lost during the storm. We’re going to try to help them out with financial stuff,” Suclupe said.


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