In addition to the Veteran Services program, Palomar student veterans have another organization available to them and their families, according to officials.
A student club called the Student Veterans Organization (SVO) acts as a support system for student veterans on campus. It was established in 2008 to help the veteran students on active duty and reserve, as well as their dependents.
According to the organization’s President Andres Garcia, one of his goals for student veterans “is to get them focused on their college (education), their career and their future.”
Garcia, who also used to be a former Master Gunnery Sergeant, said many veteran students lack a permanent place to live and are in need of child care. He added that a lot of them also need assistance with their disabilities.
In an interview, Garcia said it is one of the SVO’s main goals to help students with these problems. By having contacts in different veteran centers and administrations, he should be able to, if not help them directly, point them to the right people.
Garcia said he wants to help veterans “with some of their needs, which are met through various organizations that are not on the campus”. An example is helping them getting a place to stay or connecting them to organizations that provide service dogs.
He mentioned he will be trying to get in contact with veteran representatives from different companies and whenever there is a job fair going on, he will encourage students to participate.
During a recent club meeting, Garcia said even though it is not a guaranteed hire, getting in contact with representatives from different companies can be beneficial.
With student veterans coming from different states, Garcia said he wanted the SVO to also be a place where veteran students could meet and also socialize with other clubs. Garcia plans for the SVO to have a softball game on campus with other clubs on Oct. 18.
Students also shared reasons why they made the choice to become members of the SVO.
Nate Thorson, a former military police in the U.S. Navy, said he joined the SVO because it is a place where he can meet fellow veterans.
Former SVO President Don Moore said he joined because he felt there is no adequate presence of veterans on campus.
For more information on Student Veterans Organization, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or check their Facebook page: Palomar Student Veteran Organization.