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Supporting student veterans

For student veterans, the transition to college life can be challenging as they adjust not only to campus life but also to their lives back home after supporting their country through military service.

That’s why Northeastern has stepped in to help them out.

Last week, the University hosted a welcome dinner for new and returning student veterans to help them build a successful Northeastern experience. The event allowed students to reconnect, build new friendships and learn about all the resources available through the University and in the community.

“It’s nice to be able to come out and meet people with similar experiences as you,” said Jonathan Peterson, a second-year student who served in the Marine Corps.

Representatives from Student Affairs, the University Registrar’s office, Student Financial Services, Student Activities and University Health & Counseling Services were among those greeting students at the event, along with the Student Veterans Organization, Northeastern’s chapter of Student Veterans for America.

Andrew McCarty is a loan coordinator in Student Financial Services, the SVO’s staff adviser and a U.S. Air Force veteran.

“We want to be proactive and engage the new and returning student veterans on campus,” he said.

The SVO holds monthly meetings and participates in community service and veterans fundraising events, such as the Run to Home Base 9K in May, the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride in August and the Ride for Our Heroes event later this month.

At last week’s dinner, SVO President Matt Grillo, a junior and U.S. Air Force veteran, also greeted new faces and welcomed familiar ones back to campus. He was hopeful the dinner would serve as a springboard for Northeastern’s student veteran community to come together and get involved as the new academic year begins.

“This is the most Husky veterans I’ve seen in one place,” Grillo said. “The University really helped us to get the word out.”

The ongoing effort to support Northeastern’s student veterans builds on the University’s longstanding commitment to fostering strong relationships with the military and veterans, including its support of the Yellow Ribbon Program, which helps post-9/11 veterans earn college degrees.

Northeastern is also a national leader in pursuing innovative security-related research.

Student veterans can find more information about resources at http://www.northeastern.edu/veterans/resources/index.html.

Faculty and staff veterans interested in working with student veterans can contact Student Affairs in 104 Ell Hall at 617-373-4384, or StudentAffairsOffice@neu.edu.