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St Joseph’s Veterans programs

January 24, 2014 @ 12:00 am EST


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St Joseph’s  College Veterans Programs Panel

We started the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and the then Bill Miller introduced the speaker

This Friday’s meeting was an in depth discussion on educational opportunities that are available to veterans.   Dir. Vitters brought several fellow staff people from St Josephs’ College. Dr. Vitters is a retired Colonel and his efforts have been directed to using all of the economic support tools that are available. The GI Bill that we associate with the returning vets after WWII is again available today. St Josephs was named as the best college for veterans by US News & World report

Dr. Vitters pointed out that these vets are dealing with stresses that are more severe than those we welcomed home in the past.  The formula for service during an action is 1/3 of the army is at war 1/3 is preparing for war an 1/3 is on leave at home and in general repairing themselves. That is not the case now. It is ½ in a war zone and ½ in preparation for war. That formula is unsustainable.

St Joseph’s College has about 5,000 students between the Brooklyn and Patchogue campus and is among the four highest rated private colleges in the country. They have integrated the enrolled veterans into the campus life and the experience and maturity has had a positive effect on the other students. They come to the school with real job skills and now they have the drive and aptitude to develop themselves further.

The funding is called “The Yellow Ribbon Program” It provides $19,000 to cover the educational program and the college will provide an additional $5000 if that amount is insufficient. The VA will provide another $5,000 if still needed. So far the students have not exceeded the base amount, but the extra funding is there of it is needed. But there is more. Student vets get an additional $2700 per month for living expenses, and $1,000 for books.

The investment in these veterans is particularly important because Long Island has one of the highest concentrations of veterans in the country. The fields of study they are interested in run the gamut from learning rehab for fellow soldiers to child care.  

We also learned that Tauro College has a program and Ken Rosenblum was in the audience to tell us of that effort too. Dr. Hubert  Keen president of Farmingdale State College sent a representative, Eric Farina, to the meeting as well, and he gave us a take on services his unit was offering.

We learned a lot today about programs that are getting serious attention.

There were a number of veterans in the audience and they posed interesting questions and made a few suggestions.

Ernie Fazio


In the Photo: Shannon O’Neil, Dr. Gail Lamberta, Bill Miller, Dr. Al Vitters, and Dr. Steve Fuchs.