Founded in November of 2015, the Military & Veteran Student Services office is located in Tillinghast Hall 010. Many of you have likely seen the office, on your way to Flynn dining hall or to pick up some long awaited package. But for our veteran population, this center is almost like a second home, a place within the school where they can get support from those who best understand what they have done.
Brian Duchaney (he/him), the director of Military & Veteran Student Services, is incredibly excited to be working for the school in this way, and it is rather obvious to anyone who talks to him how passionate he is about making the center as great as possible, and his policy for the office is “open door. I don’t even care if your grandfather served and you want to come in and just chat.”
With the addition of an expanded travel budget this year, Duchaney has been able to connect with numerous other centers and help students in ways that the office hasn’t in years. Having experienced the same decline that many departments and organizations had during the height of the pandemic, the struggle to reconnect with the campus has been difficult
Although they would love to get to the point where they can offer multiple opportunities through their office, as of right the main goal is to rebuild. Currently, the center sees a steady stream of about twenty to thirty students who often visit. On campus, approximately 320 students utilize veteran benefits. It is the center’s hope to change the way the university tracks and records who these students are, so as to give them assistance if needed.
“I think there are a few individuals here who have had different full military careers, come back here and they settle right in,” Duchaney explained, “you know, it’s those people who are kind of looking for something else in life that tend to struggle the most, hoping that we can provide it.”
The office is an incredibly warm place (both emotionally, and literally!) and the kindness and consideration it gives to its visitors is palpable. Whether you have just finished your service, are on reserve, or are coming back to school after twenty years, you will be welcomed with open arms.
If any students or organizations are looking for their next collaboration event, or just a place to help out, the Military and Veterans Student Services office should be your first call.
Don’t miss out on their events leading up to Veteran’s Day on November 11th, and the cookout in University Park on the 10th from 11:00am to 2:00pm!
To our veteran student population, we at The Comment thank you for your service, and are grateful to call you our fellow Bears!