By John Jason Francis, Staff Writer—
UTC’s Veteran Student Services (VSS) has recently held several events for the veterans present on campus and in the community.
Last week, the Veteran Student Services held a “Wellness Check” that was open to Student Veterans, their families, and members of the community that may know a potential future student that could benefit from the programs offered.
The Student Veteran Wellness Check was put together by Linda Hinkle, who is a licensed Master of Social Work and a Veteran herself from serving as a field medic. Hinkle is also the coordinator of the Veterans Student Services.
“Yes…the Quilt of Valor signing ceremony…where a member of the community has been nominated by a loved one or a colleague, we will have everyone involved sign the Quilt to honor the Veteran that was nominated,” Hinkle said.
Then, after the Veteran has been presented with the signed Quilt of Valor, it is laid over their shoulders as a symbol of protection and a showing of honor, Hinkle said.
The Quilt of Valor event occurs a few times a year nation-wide, with many other Universities participating as well.
This year, UTC had three members of its community receive the Quilt of Valor—two staff members and one student here on campus.
Students who have served in the military before enrolling at a University have unique needs and circumstances that might not be properly brought into focus with traditional enrolled procedures.
It’s true that in many, if not nearly all cases, students coming from a military background already have training and work experience in many areas.
One of the resources that the VSS provides is helping veteran students determine what course credits they may already have experienced enough to receive credit for Military Service.
VSS also has several resources found on their website, such as waivers and scholarships, VA Education Benefits, Fee Deferment and Military Tuition Assistance, among other programs and helpful information to help a Veteran Student get “squared away.”
“I feel like we get siloed sometimes, and our daily routines become our world, but we are here for students to reach out to and we become one big family,” Hinkle said. “We are a UTC family, a Chattanooga family, a Tennessee State family, so connecting people to others and equipping people with the knowledge they can build on and become even more successful is what where are here for.”