Mobile veterans center arrives on campus

Mobile veterans center arrives on campus

The Mobile Veterans Center will be parked at 3rd Road near Brogan Hall on Sept. 25 and Oct. 23.

According to Christopher Purington, who works at the Veteran Affairs Educational Benefits office at Chaminade, 400 students at Chaminade are in the military or are part of a military family.  That’s approximately one-third of the overall student population, which totaled to 1,258 in 2012.

The mobile will be at Chaminade on Sept. 25 and Oct. 23 at 3rd Road near Brogan Hall from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

“It’s basically a one-stop shop for veterans, so if they have any questions regarding health benefits, education benefits, rehabilitation counseling – it’s just all in one,” Purington said.

The Mobile Vet Center is a white trailer that travels to various cities across the nation. Seventy Mobile Vet Center units roam the country every day, providing counseling to individuals, groups and families who are in the military.

Purington figured that the MVC would benefit military students, primarily those who are in the master’s, AEOP or adult/evening programs.

“The thing that’s good about the September MVC is that the adult/evening and master’s programs are on break, so they can come in whenever they want,” he said. “On October 23, we have a better outcome of that particular group of students because they’ll be back in school by then. For the day undergrads, it’ll be more of the dependent students.”

Stephanie Brown, an outreach specialist at the West Oahu Vet Center in Kapolei, is eager to bring the MVC to Chaminade for the first time.

“We have all sorts of people come in – families, people who recently returned from deployment, even homeless veterans,” Brown said.

In addition, she said that the MVC reaches out to the community by doing college visits and attending large events, such as the Great Aloha Run and the Wounded Warrior Regatta at Hale Koa Hotel.

“When we do these events, people can come in and receive the help they need,” Brown said.

If the MVC proves to be successful among students, Purington said he hopes to continue this program.

“If the MVC goes well this semester, we hope to bring it back in the spring semester,” he said.

Brown said that this would be a grand opportunity for military families and individuals to seek help if they need it.

“People have told us, ‘This is awesome!’” Brown said. “It’s very convenient, it’s free, and it’s confidential. It’s definitely helped a lot of people because we help them to reconnect to civilian life and have their loved ones understand what’s going on.”