Group forms at UTM to help vets

Group forms at UTM to help vets
Group forms at UTM to help vets | Skyhawk Veteran’s Association (SVA), University of Tennessee at Martin

On hand for the landscape work day included (from left) Justin Jones, vice president; Ron Cheatham, Weakley County Veterans Affairs officer; Kelly Karels; Dr. Alice Catherine-Carls, faculty advisor; Kevin Klutts; and David Crum, president.
Members of the Skyhawk Veteran’s Association (SVA) gathered recently on the Weakley County courthouse lawn in Dresden to prepare for a landscaping workday around the stone veteran’s memorial that stands in front of the local government building. It was one of the first of what some hope will be many activities of the newly formed student organization at the University of Tennessee at Martin.
“To serve the living while honoring the fallen,” is the motto of the SVA that was formed in the fall of 2011 and was approved as an official student organization in February 2012. It is the first UT Martin student veteran’s group since the early 1950s.
“In recent years, the number of student veterans and families of deployed military personnel in my classes has steadily increased. So I decided to do something about it,” said Dr. Alice-Catherine Carls, UT Martin professor of history and SVA faculty advisor.
Carls said during her career as a professor she has been moved by the efforts of veterans and their family members to integrate into collegiate life. The SVA’s aim is to provide support to veterans and their families and in general be a place for encouragement.
“We hope to have a designated meeting place soon, perhaps an office where they can come, chat, have a cup of coffee; in general, where they can find resources to help them find a career path and achieve graduation, and perhaps even engage in graduate work. We hope to provide information about a number of issues ranging from veteran benefits to health care to academic information about majors and minors at UT Martin, to disabilities, to undergraduate scholarship and job opportunities,” Carls said.
The SVA met weekly during the spring academic semester and will return to the Weakley County courthouse lawn to complete the landscaping project at 9 a.m. May 11.
For more information about the SVA, contact James Copeland, secretary, at jamdcope@ut.utm.edu.

WCP 5.01.12

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