Rob Thompson, who works as a veterans services specialist at Malcolm X College in Chicago, said his office serves about 20 to 50 student veterans per week, not only providing enrollment and financial aid assistance but also acting as a liaison for services ranging from employment to counseling to note-taking.
Thompson said it’s important that other members of the campus community understand that student veterans are not receiving special treatment but rather access to necessary resources.
“We hold them accountable as students because they are students first,” Thompson said, “In terms of academics, behavior, all those things across the board. It’s just that there are additional services that are available for veterans specifically catered to help that population of student.” ...
Vanessa Zamora, 27, who enrolled at Richard J. Daley College in Chicago after serving 4½ years in the United States Marine Corps, said it’s being around other student veterans as much as the services themselves that is invaluable.
“We all have a special bond together, regardless of what branch we served,” Zamora said. “We always have each other’s back. We help each other out in our weaknesses in certain subjects. It’s more like a support group.
“There’s this feeling of intimidation to ask another student [for help] that’s probably younger than you. It’s a lot easier to ask someone who’s probably in your age area.”