Anthony Leyva
Staff Writer

Concern for improving obstacles in the veteran community have improved across the United States over recent decades from the rise in VFWs to veteran suicide awareness. Still, veterans are confronted by a vast and imposing list of problems every day upon returning from service. 

Thankfully, the leaders of Lorain County have been working hard to improve the quality of life for military veterans, especially at Lorain County Community College. 

The Panel
Over the summer the LCCC Veterans Service Office hosted an event to assemble other local Lorain County veteran organizations. The event consisted of 5 panelists each providing a perspective indicative of their professional and personal experience.

Jose Torres from Ohio Means Jobs, Kennyth Glynn from Adult Outreach at LCCC, Jacob Smith from the Lorain County Veterans Service Commission Office, Rick DeChant a retired USCG Commander, and  student Anthony Leyva, a recently separated Air Force veteran.

Discussed Subjects
Will Jones, a Disabled Veteran Outreach Specialist, says he was very pleased with the outcome of the event.

 “I’m very hopeful. I’ve been doing this for 11 years and with what we have planned; this is going to be groundbreaking. Many organizations are coming together. And a buddy program will help a lot of the recently separated veterans.”

Discussed at the event were a variety of ideas including a ‘Welcome Home’ meet and greet for recently separated veterans, which are those that have just recently left th military. 

Support options for incarcerated veterans and ramping up veteran outreach at the LCCC Veterans Office were also discussed. 

All panelists unanimously agreed that increased communication and collaboration between each organization would be beneficial to student veterans; emphasizing on leading and helping individuals find available opportunities.

LCCC Veteran Office
Ryan Murphy, the Military Veterans Service Officer for LCCC, aims to grow connections with local organizations. He is passionate about helping each individual veteran. 

According to Murphy, “You don’t want to focus merely on numbers. If you came to my door, maybe you want to discuss things that’s more important than going to English for the moment. I want to be that organization that says, what can we do as an office to help you reach those organizations that you might need.”

The office which is located right outside the library on the second floor of the College Center has seen a steady increase of visitors since campus has fully returned. 

Another opportunity available for veteran students is the veterans lounge located across the hall. The lounge, which was dedicated in November of 2015, provides a safe, relaxing place for veterans to destress in between classes. 

Marisa Vernon-White, Ph.D., Vice President of student enrollment services also attended the meeting and agreed with Murphy.

“Were an education provider but LCCC does more than that, it’s not just about supporting people’s education pathway, that won’t happen if all the other things don’t fall into place.”

This dual approach to identifying the needs of LCCC students is just one of many ways the college is striving to increase quality of life on and off campus. 

Currently, the veteran service office is assisting the relaunch of the Veterans Club, an amazing opportunity for veterans looking for help or looking to help other members of the community.