The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE veterans can network, get support during weekly breakfast

By Mathew Shaw/se news editor

Jason Floyd/The Collegian  SE Campus student activities and the Student Veterans Association sponsor a weekly veterans breakfast as a way for veterans to find and connect with each other.
Jason Floyd/The Collegian SE Campus student activities and the Student Veterans Association sponsor a weekly veterans breakfast as a way for veterans to find and connect with each other.

To recognize campus veterans, SE Campus student activities and the Student Veterans Association are co-sponsoring a weekly veterans breakfast, where they can socialize and exchange information with one another.

The breakfast was SE student activities director Doug Peak’s idea.

“I wanted to do something for our veterans organization to promote growth and to help reach and connect with other veterans,” he said.

When the breakfast began two years ago, it averaged about five to seven attendees during its first few weeks, Peak said. Now it averages about 16-18 veterans on a weekly basis.

As a gift for attending the breakfast, veterans receive a mug based upon the branch they served (for example, if they served in the Marine Corps, they get a mug with the slogan “Semper Fi”).

SE history professor and Vietnam War veteran Lee Cowan, who became involved with the breakfast through the veterans advisory committee, said student veterans might need assistance adjusting to college life.

“It’s difficult to establish yourself into a nonwar situation,” he said. “Most of our veterans are 20-30. If you go into the military, you’re usually there about four to five years. You’re not right out of high school.”

At the breakfast, sweet rolls and coffee are served. The atmosphere is informal, an “open forum,” as Cowan put it.

Frances Suarez, the association’s co-sponsor, said the breakfast can also be a good opportunity for veterans to help each other.

“We see it as a peer mentoring opportunity for more experienced students who are military veterans to mentor perhaps new student veterans and to acquaint them with the resources that are here on SE Campus,” she said.

Suarez said the campus president, vice president and dean are also invited.

“This way, they become aware of problems faced by military veterans,” she said.

The exchange of information is one thing SE student veteran Jarrad Carter benefits from. Carter, who served in the Army eight years and worked in finance after his honorable discharge, was enticed to enroll at TCC after he learned at one of the breakfasts that he can receive college credit for his military service.

“I was honored that TCC would recognize my service but was more influenced by cost,” he said.

Carter, who enrolled last summer, said he wants to complete his prerequisites for pharmacy school at TCC.

The breakfast is held 8:15-9:45 a.m. Fridays throughout the semester (except during finals and the week before finals) in the student activities office conference room (ESCT 1201G). All veterans, student or otherwise, are invited to attend.

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