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Veterans Resource Center opens at SDSU

By Katie Haines

SDSU Collegian

BROOKINGS — The Veterans Resource Center at South Dakota State University opened Tuesday to help student veterans transition from military to civilian life.

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The new center will be available to student veterans, service members and students dependent on veterans and service members. SDSU has roughly 500 student veterans in attendance.

The Veterans Resource Center, located in the lower level of SDSU’s Student Union, will help connect veterans to other veterans and service members, provide tutoring and mentorship and display resources and services.

Another resource offered to student veterans is the Veteran Services Office. Brian Mahaffy, coordinator of veteran affairs, helps to connect returning student veterans with their benefits, connect them with other officials, and helps student veterans with any questions and concerns they may have. He also helps to advise returning student veterans and refer them to counseling if they need it.

SDSU is working toward becoming a more militaryfriendly school and has been rated two years in a row on the GI Jobs Military Friendly Schools in the top 15 percent, Mahaffy said.

Jason Madison, a junior agronomy major at SDSU, was deployed to Afghanistan from May 2011 to May 2012. After his return home, he resumed his studies at SDSU.

Madison said that it is very different being at college after his deployment. One thing that makes it easier is the fact that his professors are understanding of his military obligations, and he believes that SDSU is a military-friendly school.