And opening day of Fresno State University found veterans helping other veterans navigate paper work of all kinds. It's a busy day at the free speech area at Fresno state.
The place is buzzing with all kinds of activity including what took place outside the Fresno VA's mobile emergency van. It offered the opportunity for veterans like Jeff Wallen to get plugged in to the Veterans Administration.
He logged a tour in Afghanistan unscathed but was injured after coming home. Jeff says this VA outreach is a welcome sight for any vet, "They may not even know the resources that are available to them. So seeing this they can stop by and ask and know they can qualify for a vocational rehab which I'm on now."
On March 19, 2003 Jason Stoffel was among the first soldiers to enter Iraq in March of 2003. He was there when Saddam Hussein was toppled from power, "After the government was taken over and Saddam was caught, we were sent home. I was there for about five or six months and spent another year or so in the service and got out and now furthering my education on the GI bill."
He's also volunteering to help other vets make the transition to college and to help them navigate their benefits as combat veterans, "I just realized there's a lot of veterans out here who didn't know about the Veteran's center and what it does for us."
This latest group of student-veterans have many of the same goals of those from past wars: to get an education that leads to a career. The university is committed to nearly four hundred vets already enrolled here.
It is expecting those numbers to increase and have a full-time veteran's service coordinator on campus ready to assist them.
Here's the contact information - Veterans Services at Fresno State
The Web site offers information on understanding the process required to use your veterans' educational benefits. For questions on veterans' benefits, please contact the Veterans Service Coordinator via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (559) 278-7030.