Veterans’ Support Services celebrates Veterans’ Day

Rachel Yim, Science & Technology Reporter

To honor the military veterans for upcoming Veterans Day on Wednesday, Nov. 11, Veterans Support Services (VSS) at Oakland University put on a variety of events throughout the week of Nov. 9.

VSS provides services to veterans, current service members and their dependents. It not only helps them with their transition from military life to a life of education, but they also provide information about how to navigate education and health benefits.

Starting Monday, Nov. 9, VSS and the Veterans Planning Committee are hosting the Virtual Frozen Chosin march to honor the veterans who fought in the Battle of the Frozen Chosin. At 6:30 p.m. everyone is encouraged to participate and walk a mile and share their experience with VSS by taking a selfie and submitting the number of steps and the amount of time they took for the mile walk.

On Veterans Day they are hosting the Veterans Keynote Address and Scholarship presentation virtually with a special guest Greg Gadson, a retired colonel and star of the hit movie “Battleship.” Additionally, they are hosting a virtual Veterans Week Panel discussion, focusing on the health of women veterans at noon on Friday, Nov. 13.

Throughout the week, students across campus can visit the Housing Office in Hamlin Hall to fill out a card thanking a veteran for their service. The cards are then to be collected at the end of the week and sent to different veteran housing units around the state.

Mason Turrell is a Veterans Representative for VSS, assisting student veterans and their dependents with understanding their eligibility for the different education benefits the Veterans Affairs offers. He also discusses events planned throughout the year and how they can improve the quality of service they offer to student veterans on and off campus.

“VSS and the Veterans Planning Committee have worked very hard to offer several events that will take place during the week of Nov. 9,” Turrell said.

According to Turrell, VSS has made the transition to remote work until the campus reopened due to COVID-19. While Turrell and his teammates are now back in the office working to serve student veterans, a lot of work went into figuring out how they would operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Months were spent during quarantine planning how they would handle their daily activities once campus reopened.

“There were a lot of obstacles that we overcame, but we are still adapting to this new way of life,” he said. “We have also been reaching out to our community partners to let them know that we are still holding events, offering services here in the office, and adjusting to how the pandemic has impacted our daily routine.”

The upcoming march and various other events are especially important to VSS. Turrell hopes to continue to help the student veterans in any way possible and provide the resources in order to guarantee them the best possible service they deserve.

“We just want the student veterans, veterans in the community, and service members everywhere to know that we appreciate them and thank them for their service,” Turrell said. “Without them, we would not be able to enjoy our way of life. The sacrifices they made for us to be able enjoy this is unmeasurable.”