By Brock Seaman
The veterans center is a campus resource for veterans and veteran’s dependents to receive help navigating through college.
The veterans center is an area for veterans to study in groups or ask questions. It provides a safe space for all veterans. The aim of the center is to help all veterans succeed in their goals.
Jarid Corbit is the Assistant Director of Veteran Services at Whatcom Community College and himself a veteran. Corbit has worked for the veteran center for ten years.
Many of veterans admire Corbit for all the hard work he does for the center. Richard, a veteran, said “Jarid is amazing. Jarid pretty much holds this place together, usually when someone doesn’t know something Jarid usually does.”
At the entrance of the veteran center, there are sand bags portioning out a walkway and a massive bowl of candy. The inside of the center includes a wall dedicated to photos of veterans and their families. The center also includes areas to study and a couch with a TV and video games.
A wall dedicated to Whatcom’s veterans, displaying photos, patches, badges, and other mementos.
The center is designed to be a comfortable environment. Katie Chugg, a Veteran Services associate, believes it’s important to make the center feel like a community area. Chugg believes that the wall of photos give veterans the feeling of ownership at the center, since it’s their office.
The center has helped many veterans through the process of their GI bill.
The GI bill helps veterans obtain financial help with their education, textbooks, and housing. Corbit has two major responsibilities at the center: One of them is reporting information to the Department of Veteran Affairs to maintain Whatcom’s eligibility to offer GI bill benefits, and the other responsibility Corbit provides academic advising for students involved with the Department of Veterans Affairs. .
Corbit acknowledges the challenges veterans go through, “the biggest struggles for veterans is the transition of the rigid world of the military to the dynamic experience of college.”
Corbit feels that having healthy environment encourages veterans to do better in their education. He said, “We aim to ease that transition so that each student veteran’s experience at Whatcom is the most positive that they have ever experienced in a higher education setting.”
Corbit said “I get satisfaction from successfully upholding my commitment to help students get a high-quality experience out of their education.”
Chugg feels the best part of her job is helping veterans she said “I work with pretty amazing students. I love seeing their hopes and dreams excel.”
The Safe Zone is a program that was created by veterans, veteran’s dependents, and veteran’s supporters in 2008, according to the Whatcom website. The program involves a sticker that any facility or staff member can place on their door or window. The sticker lets veterans know that the room is a safe place for them. This allows veterans to vent or discuss problems they might be facing to the facility member.
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