For the average veteran, transitioning into a civilian life comes with a unique set of challenges.
Some want to attend college or university, but don’t know their benefits and there may not be someone on campus who can help them.
Congresswoman Lois Frankel wants to see college and universities across the county offer what’s called a veteran resource center.
Palm Beach State College just opened its center last year that’s now benefiting some 700 student veterans.
“This is me when I was in basic training,” Violet Galloway said.
Galloway is a disabled veteran who served in the U.S. Army from 1978 to 1985.
“I come for a family of veterans and I took pride in being the only woman in the family to go on active duty,” she said.
Galloway, a Veteran Specialist at Palm Beach State College, said life after the military was tough.
“I was struggling like who am I now? Who is this post military person,” she said.
Galloway said her experiences help her relate to the student veterans she now assists at the veteran resource center at Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth.
“It’s rewarding and fulfilling for me it helps feed my passion to be supportive and encouraging to them,” she said.
Student veterans talk with staff about their educational benefits, they receive academic and financial advising, tutoring, counseling and they can even do their homework here.
Frankel just introduced a bipartisan bill that would replicate this service at colleges and universities currently lacking a veteran resource center.
“To me, as a mother of a U.S. veteran, this is personal. We need to do everything reasonably possible to make sure that their transition into civilian life is successful,” she said.
And give them a chance to realize they are not alone.
“It’s more than just the education. It’s also the camaraderie. It’s a morale booster. It’s the support and it’s someplace veterans feel, 'Hey I am at home,'” Galloway said.
Palm Beach State College said it was able to offer this service to veterans after receiving a $800,000 grant from the state.
Florida Atlantic University also offers a veteran resource center to former members of the military.