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

Program helps veterans adjust to college life

Adjusting from life as a soldier to life as a college student can be a difficult process for many veterans. That’s why the University of Alabama is working with the Tuscaloosa Veterans Affairs Medical Center to set up a new program to help these veterans returning to college.

The program, called the Veteran-Student Academic and Wellness Program, helps to ensure that veterans returning from places like Iraq and Afghanistan have a safe haven within reach while transitioning from military life to college life.

Damon Stevenson, spokesman for the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center, said the center wants to give veterans every opportunity to succeed in college.

“We understand that veteran students are not typical college students,” Stevenson said. “Many have issues adjusting to college life as well as civilian life after returning from deployment, and also have concerns that a typical college student would not have.”

The program will offer a variety of services, such as counseling, tutoring, primary care, case management and peer support.

LaWanda Van Horn, social work coordinator of VSAWP, said that the available peer support is important because it allows other veteran students to build reports among one another.

Van Horn also said that commonalities among veterans mean that they can offer better support and relief for each other.

Christopher Spencer, University spokesman for VSAWP, said the initial program hopes to enroll 20 to 25 veterans in the first year.

The Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center, one of five centers in the country chosen to host this program, will also take part in outreach activities in the community to educate other veterans about VSAWP.

The program is free and is funded through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

“As a veteran myself, I would encourage veterans to enroll in programs like this,” Spencer said. “They put their life on the line for this country, and should have every opportunity to succeed.”

To enroll for the program, please contact the University of Alabama Veterans Services at 205-348-6770 or LaWanda Van Horn at 205-554-3791

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