In August, Western Nevada College received recognition for its work with veterans, which was applauded at a national conference attended by President Barack Obama. Just two months later, WNC has continued its support of veterans as they make the transition from serving their country to a life focused on academics and career preparation.
The student veterans group of WNC will celebrate the opening of the Western Nevada College Student Veterans Resource Center from 1-3 p.m. Thursday at the Carson City campus.
A four-room center in the Cedar Building is the only one of its kind in Northern Nevada. It offers counseling services, student staff, access to VA benefit/medical information and a study/tutor area with Internet access. The center is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to noon Friday.
Now, the college offers a place where student vets can go.
“Sometimes they want to vent or they are looking for information or benefits, and it’s the one place they can go to get all of those different things,” said Kevin Burns, a WNC English professor who serves as an adviser to the Student Veterans Club.
“It’s a place where vets can hang out and get away from the stress of academics for a bit, or if they want to chill,” said Timothy Galluzi, who heads the Student Veterans Club.
Burns, who served 15 years in the Marine Corps, including Operation Desert Storm, said that recently retired WNC President Carol Lucey was completely supportive of the effort.
“When we started this, she said, ‘Let me know what you need,’ and she provided it,” he said.
In the past year, WNC has hosted several barbecues on campus in Carson City and Fallon to bring veterans together and share the educational opportunities and resources available to them. In addition, more than 60 of the estimated 170 veterans attending WNC already have joined the Student Veterans Club.
A celebration of the new Veterans Center will be in Carson Nugget Community Hall, offering an overview of veteran services and programs, as well as tours of the new space. Experts will be on hand to speak to veterans about topics pertaining to them.
Burns said numerous state and national dignitaries have been invited.
“We want them to see what we’re doing,” he said.