Campus center offers more than support to veterans


Ceejay Willis

Members of the Cosumnes River College Veteran’s Resource Center had a table in the quad to bring awareness of the services they offer to veterans. Students that attended the fair voted for their favorite club or group, and the VRC received the most votes to win the 2015 Spirit Award and a $250 check on March 25.

Making the move from a military life to a college life is not always easy for veterans, which is why Cosumnes River College’s Veterans Resource Center was created.

The VRC’s mission is to honor the service of veterans by supporting them in the pursuit of their educational and life goals and to help foster a “veteran-friendly” environment at CRC, according to the VRC’s website.

Helping to make that mission a reality is Veterans Resource Center Coordinator Denise Doughty, a position she has been in since October 2014.

“The main goal for the Veterans Resource Center is to be a safe space,” Doughty said. “[A] comfortable location for the veterans on our campus.”

Part of that comfortable location includes a space for veterans to do their homework as well as printing facilities for when they finish their work. As part of the resources on hand, a counselor and therapist visit once a week to meet with veterans.

In addition to helping veterans through the semester, the counselors help with enrolling in classes.

Blanca Miranda, an admission and records clerk for CRC, said that after veterans enroll in classes she helps them to receive their Veterans Affairs Benefits.

Miranda said there are six types of benefits. There are benefits for veterans that were reserves, reserves who actively served, veterans who were discharged, veterans who are in rehab, veterans that have done active time after 9/11 and for the children of veterans who are fully disabled.

“I am very proud, [and] this to me doesn’t feel like a job,” Miranda said. “Since I started working with them I feel very proud to assist them, [because] they do so much for our freedom. Especially when you come  from a second world country, you come here and see how much freedom we have in this country because of them.”

Doughty said there are five veterans who work in the center that she oversees, and they are paid through the VA work study

Jonathan Rich, 30, a psychology and human services major, said he has been working for the VRC for three years after he served in the army for five years.

“When I first started going here, I came to this school and felt like an alien,” Rich said.

One of Rich’s friend told him about the VRC on campus and “ever since then, I was like how do I work here, and then I started working here and I fell in love with the place,” he said.

Rich and other veterans said they believe that the center is a savior, and without the services it provides they wouldn’t have a place on the campus.

“We help veterans transition over from military life to student life. It’s an area where they can relax and deflate from their day,” Rich said. “It’s our own little community that we have here on campus.”