‘Veterans in transition’ focus of Soup and Substance event
The transition of military to civilian life is tough enough for veterans without having to decide whether to attend or return to college.
Wednesday’s Soup and Substance luncheon featured speaker Steven Rellinger, two-time Central Michigan University alum, Navy veteran and director of the Veterans’ Resource Center, to discuss veterans in transition from being discharged from duty to life at home.
“CMU has a very robust history of helping military personnel and their family members get their education, so we’re very proud of that,” Rellinger said. “When you hear folks talk about military-friendly, CMU’s been doing it for a long time, and I’m not saying that because I get a paycheck from them.”
Soup and Substance, a free event that is open to the public, was sponsored by the Multicultural Education Center. The Office of Diversity Education hosted about 30 students, staff members, volunteers, and a few Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Tomato bisque, beef noodle soup, bread rolls and water were catered free of charge.
Rellinger said CMU is one of the best places for a transitioning vet to get the help they need to further their education.
During his lecture, he described the veteran support system at CMU as “the triangle.” Inside the triangle are veterans; at the base is the Veterans Resource Center, the Student Veterans of America on the left side, and several outreach programs on the right of the triangle, including a Veterans Outreach Panel and a training workshop. These programs are designed to help veterans feel welcome and ensure they receive the best experience while attending CMU, he said.
“We help all veterans” Rellinger said.
Halfway through, Rellinger presented an interactive training video clip designed for veterans returning to college, CMU’s campus in particular. The video clip presented two fictional Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, one male and one female. This training video is one of the ways CMU offers help to incoming student veterans who are feeling the strains of the transition.
Toward the end of the luncheon, Rellinger encouraged the audience members to attend the “Veterans in Transition” event featuring guest speaker Alison Lighthall from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday in Grawn 100.
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