By Tala Alsharif
The Veterans Resource Center is hosting a Veterans Thank You Breakfast on Nov. 8 in honor of Veterans Day at Youngstown State University in the Rossi Room at Kilcawley Center.
Patrick “Rick” Williams, associate director of Veteran Affairs, said the event is open to all students and faculty.
“You don’t have to be a veteran,” Williams said. “It can be any student [or] faculty member who just wants to come and honor veterans … it’s free of charge, you just have to sign up for the event.”
This year, Veterans Day falls on Saturday, Nov. 11 and the university will be closed Friday, Nov. 10 in observance.
Veterans Day was established Nov. 11, 1918, when a cessation of hostilities went into effect between the Allied powers and Germany in World War I.
Williams said Veterans Day not only celebrates those who lost their lives, but everyone who has served.
“We’re celebrating everyone who has served our country … whether they’re still in the service [or] whether they’re no longer in the service,” Williams said.
Williams, along with his assistant director, Jaesson Lujan, will speak at local high schools for Veterans Day assemblies.
Williams also collaborates with Kiel Jones, the veterans representative for the Student Government Association on different initiatives regarding veteran affairs.
Jones serves as a liaison between student veterans and SGA and helps student veterans that face challenges.
Jones said Veterans Day gives the community an opportunity to appreciate all the veterans that attend YSU and think of all the people who still serve today.
“I think about my brothers … [and] my actual blood brother who is currently serving,” Jones said. “For me, I think about all the people who are still there today.”
Williams said he’s proud of the university’s Veterans Resource Center, as YSU is one of three universities in Ohio with a free-standing veterans center.
“We consider ourselves very fortunate to be one of those three universities,” Williams said. “We like to think of ourselves as a one-stop for the student veterans.”
Williams said service members who served in the military for years can face challenges transitioning to university life.
“[Veterans] are a little older than the average college student … it’s a little bit more difficult for them to make that transition,” Williams said. “We work with those students to try and make that transition smoother.”
Jones agreed and said it can be a challenge going back to university and being older than other students.
“[It] might be a challenge just getting used to … going back to school but also being … older,” Jones said. “You’re going to have to step [in] and kind of be a role model in every class you’re in.”
The Veterans Resource Center guides veterans through the admissions process by helping them fill out applications and getting their high school transcripts.
“Once they become a student, then we really get involved with … setting them up with a good advisor, someone who’s going to lead them down the right path for the degree they want to pursue,” Williams said.
Student veterans can get tutoring, use the computer lab located downstairs of the Veterans Resource Center and relax in the lounge where they can meet other veterans.
For students interested in volunteering at the Office of Veterans Affairs, the Veterans Resource Center located at 633 Wick Ave. You can also call (330) 941-2503 or email [email protected]. Students can also stop by the Veterans Resource Center for any questions or assistance.
Students can contact Kiel Jones at [email protected]. To register for the Veterans Thank you Breakfast, fill out the form found under the Student Affairs Calendar.