VSO partnership and VA hospital proposed, provide counseling
A program designed to help veterans transitioning from the military to the classroom is expanding to more campuses and similar help could be on the way to UH.
Under the VetSuccess on Campus program, a full-time Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and a part-time Vet Center Outreach Coordinator are assigned to campuses to provide VA benefits assistance to ensure that all veteran benefits are met.
“We don’t provide those services,” Allen Grundy, Veterans’ Services Office Program Director, said. “But those things are necessary because we now have veterans with traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and other health issues that create difficulty for us to be able to help these veterans.”
To help combat the lack of veteran-specific health related help at the university, Grundy is proposing a new partnership.
“We just proposed a partnership with the VA hospital,” Grundy said. “We sent them a partnership letter via Dr. Lee to see if we can get a full-time person from the Michael E. Debakey VA Medical Center here on campus. We haven’t heard back from them yet.”
Notable differences between the VetSuccess program and what the UH VSO is proposing is the involvement of a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and a Vet Center coordinator.
Grundy says there aren’t representatives on campus, but they have information available to help students get in contact with either service.
The VSO, like the VetSuccess on Campus program, is trying to make the transition from the battlefield to the classroom easier for veterans. Grundy says he is trying to get the VSO to become the place for all veteran’s needs.
“We were part of student affairs two weeks ago and know we are part of academic affairs,” said Grundy. “There should no longer be any issues, because we’ll be part of the process.”
Right now, the VSO helps veterans by providing peer-to-peer counseling, veteran work-study and job information, referrals for counseling in financial, vocational and academic problems and information about changes in legislative changes that affect veterans.
They also have a computer lab, study area and can help student-veterans find answers to questions they may have.
“We’ll probably become a one-stop shop, eventually,” Grudy said. “We are moving towards serving our veterans more efficiently. It’ll definitely help their transition.”