SEATTLE — For veterans transitioning out of the military, the plethora of choices of civilian life can be overwhelming.
“For me, it’s culture shock; getting out and not knowing how to relate or talk to people and not really sure where I needed to go, or who I needed to talk to,” Robert Holt said.
Holt said he is a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Outreach Center at Seattle University wants to help veterans like Holt. Every quarter they host drop-in hours with organizations like the Wounded Warrior Project, Disabled American veterans, VA Healthcare and more.
Veterans can get connected with these organizations for help accessing health benefits and other services, and learning more about becoming a student at the school. Any military veteran in the community can attend – students, alumni and community members are all welcome.
“It’s nice to have somewhere to touch base and make sure that you’re not missing anything that would be a benefit to you,” Holt said.
Tom Hove, a veteran himself, is the Vet Navigator at Seattle University and said the transition from military life can be overwhelming.
“It’s a super overwhelming and complicated system so when vets are coming into higher [education] they’re a little lost, as we all are coming out of the military,” Hove said. “This allows them to be guided through that process of getting access to their benefits getting put into that direction.”
The Outreach Center also supports first-generation students too. More than 60% of student veterans identify as first-generation college students, and Hove said that the school saw overlap in what the two populations needed help. He said the center saw an increase in use after the two groups were combined into one location.
“We’re no longer isolating our vets like they were isolated in the military,” Hove said. “This model does work in how we’re supporting our vets.”
For more information about resources and upcoming events, visit The Outreach Center at Seattle University.