MURFREESBORO — Veterans at MTSU and across the Middle Tennessee region are welcome to attend the first Veteran and Family Benefits Expo, which will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 24, on campus, event organizers said.
The benefits expo featuring more than 30 vendors will be held in Gym 1 of the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center on Blue Raider Drive. A printable campus map can be found at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap13-14.
Vendors will include Veteran Benefits Administration, Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Tennessee Career Coach, Tennessee Career Center and many more.
“Our vision is to bring together campus and community veterans and their families, with organizations who endeavor to assist and support veterans in one form or another,” said Heather Conrad, counselor and rehabilitation counselor for VetSuccess on Campus.
VetSuccess on Campus and the MTSU Blue Raider American Veterans Organization, or BRAVO, are two of seven sponsoring organizations.
Free food, entertainment and fun for all will be available from 4 to 6 p.m. in front of the Student Union. Children are welcome. The Nontraditional Student Organization sponsors this portion of the event.
“BRAVO is wanting to help the veterans on campus and in the community be successful and instead of just having one area for the veterans this allows the community of veterans and family members to come together, have a great time and learn something that may benefit just about every veteran,” said Malcolm Stallard, BRAVO president.
“Whether it be for a disability claim help, setting up GI Bill or even becoming a member of one of the veteran organizations in the community, there are a lot of resources and opportunities for the veterans,” Stallard added.
Sophia Wessels, president of the Nontraditional Student Organization and a Student Government Association senator, said the event will be “to show gratitude for the support networks of MTSU’s nontraditional student population.”
Wessels said the campus student population is about 35 percent nontraditional — students 23 and older, “meaning at least one out of three students has a full-time job, is a caretaker of another person, has children, is married or is returning to school after a break of more than one year.”
“Many veterans and nontraditional students never return (to school) for fear of not being able to complete their degree, not being able to manage the schedule or simply not fit in,” Wessels said.
Other sponsors include MTSU, the June Anderson Center for Women and Nontraditional Students, the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership and Pinnacle Honor Society.