“Military Friendly” Tag Questioned, 40 SVA Chapters Closed

Does your college offer peer support and specific resources for student veterans on the Post 9/11 GI Bill? What criteria is used to measure a college’s “friendliness” to new student veterans?

Those are questions that Alex Horton asks in his blog posting. He lists some growing concerns on how some schools have misused the “military friendly” designation to attract student veterans. The VA blog, Vantage Point:

To mischaracterize the amount and quality of Veteran resources on campus in order to appear “military friendly,” then, is to undermine the crucial development period of reintegration. And as we reported yesterday, some schools use administrative staff to control student Vets groups in a bid to leverage the military friendly identity.

So what can you do to protect yourself and ensure your school can adequately support Veterans? Above all else, only trust education benefits resources from VA itself. Our GI Bill homepage, along with the GI Bill Facebook page, offers accurate news and information. There are all kinds of websites that benefit financially from offering questionable information without accountability.

The Student Veterans of America actually shutdown 40 SVA chapters based at for-profit colleges after it was discovered the chapters had no veteran members and were only being used to market the college

Michael Dakduk, SVA executive director, told the Stars and Stripes a routine review uncovered problems at the for-profit college chapters:

Numerous chapters were founded with a faculty member as the main point of contact, he said, instead of a student veteran. Those chapters were found to have no actual student members, and the SVA brand was being used by the schools’ marketing departments in recruiting efforts.

“SVA will not allow institutions of higher learning, whether for-profit or not, to use the name Student Veterans of America for the sole benefit of the institution,” he said.

The Student Veterans of America has published a full explanation behind revoking 40 chapter memberships.

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Looking to Honor Moms Who Have Served

Do you know a mom who has served in the military who you would like to honor? The entry below comes directly from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs blog: Vantage Point.

A single mother from Bradenton drove convoys in Iraq while deployed as an Army Reservist. Photo courtesy of The New Study: "Collateral Damage" of War on Florida Families.

In honor of Mother’s Day, we here at VA need your help to thank the women who have undoubtedly shaped our lives. We would like to put together a tribute honoring Veterans who are grandmothers and mothers and the mothers and grandmothers of Veterans. Their service has not only shaped your life but has paved the way for fellow female service members.

Here is how you can help: please send a photograph or a story (no more than 250 words) that details your Veterans’ service and how she has inspired you.

We want to know what life was like growing up on a military base, how you dealt with a deployment, and about the unique mother-child bond. The photographs will be created into a Flickr set and the stories will appear on VAntage Point. 

With each submission, please provide name, branch of service, when they served, and what they are doing now. Please send all information to newmedia@va.gov by Tuesday May 3.

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