Cameron University welcomes veterans, active military and dependents to Veterans Resource Fair

In conjunction with the national observance of Veterans Day, Cameron University’s Office of Veterans Affairs will host the CU Veterans Resource Fair. The two-day event will feature 29 organizations that offer assistance to veterans, military service members and their dependents with information regarding various services available. The CU Veterans Resource Fair is slated for Wednesday, November 6, and Thursday, November 7, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the first floor of the McMahon Centennial Complex. The building is located at University Drive and D Avenue. Visitor parking is available across the street.

“We are excited about hosting a wide-ranging variety of military/veteran-related service organizations at Cameron University’s Veterans Resource Fair,” says Vicki Henson, Assistant Director of Financial Assistance Services and Coordinator of Veterans Affairs. “We look forward to hosting veterans from across southwest Oklahoma.”

The Veterans Resource Fair will feature representatives from numerous local, state and federal organizations.

Representatives from the Muskogee Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will be available to provide personal service for those who have questions about VA educational benefits. They also will able to process claims and work on problem resolution.

Rachel Barber, Legal Administrative Specialist/Public Contact Outreach Specialist, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Veterans Service Center at Fort Sill, will be available to provide information, answer questions and discuss other types of VA benefits.

Alfred Finch, VetSuccess on Campus (VSOC) counselor at Cameron University, will be available to assist current students using VA educational benefits with specialized career, financial and personalized counseling services and employment search assistance. In addition to assisting prospective CU VA educational beneficiaries in their transition from military to college life, he provides information about the Federal Department of Veteran Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program. VR&E includes assistance with job training, employment accommodations, resume development, independent personal business initiation and job seeking skills coaching.                                                                                                           

The Red River Mobile Vet Center, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, provides readjustment counseling and information resources to veterans and focuses on services that help veterans make the difficult transition between military and civilian life.

The Lawton VA Outpatient Clinic will have representatives available to provide information about VA health care benefits. The clinic provides primary care, mental health care, telehealth, dental, pharmacy, nutrition and home-based primary care services.

Representatives from Oklahoma Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (OKESGR) will be on site on Wednesday only. OKESGR promotes cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers and assists in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military commitment.

A representative from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Suicide Prevention Office, will be available to acquaint attendees with available resources on Thursday. In addition, personnel from the Red River Mobile Vet Center will be able to assist with information on this important topic.

Julia Miller, Troops to Teachers Program Coordinator for the Oklahoma Department of Education, will be in attendance. The Oklahoma office assists transitioning service members and veterans as they begin new careers in public, charter and Bureau of Indian Affairs schools. The goal is to identify these service members and help facilitate the process of obtaining their teaching certificate. Troops to Teachers provides counseling, financial assistance, alternative certification application assistance and job search assistance.

Catherine Lewis, LSCW, Oklahoma City VA Medical Center Behavioral Health Care unit, will join Tonia Cassell, LPN, and Cheryl Kottke, LCSW, from the Lawton VA Clinic to provide services.

Robert Mann, a representative of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program, will be onsite to provide information about VA programs for homeless veterans, as well as U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) general information, program eligibility and connection to supportive services.

Michael Gardner, Native American Nurse Navigator and Tribal Liaison, VA Medical Center, Oklahoma City, will be available to assist Native American veterans and dependents. Gardner will offer assistance with health care benefits, information how the VA Medical Center is working with Indian Health Services to better serve Native American veterans, referrals regarding other services available to Native American veterans, and more.

The Oklahoma City VA Medical Center Community Care Program will be represented by Vickie Ericson and Reuben (Jamie) Bondurant. They offer assistance to veterans requiring services not offered or who cannot meet the wait time or drive time criteria of services that are offered. They will also provide information about  VA caregiver benefits.

Will Larry, Oklahoma City VA Medical Center Eligibility Supervisor, will be available to assist with the application for VA medical care assistance.

Representatives from the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs (ODVA) will be available on Wednesday to assist with claims before the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA). Claims officers are accredited with a number of service organizations in order to better represent the claimant with claims and appeals. Claims officers will assist in the appeals process, and if necessary, represent the claimant at a personal hearing before the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Officer.

Oklahoma Works - American Job Network (including veteran services) will have a representative available.

Gold Star Wives of America, a Congressionally chartered service organization for surviving spouses, will be represented by Pat Collins Miller, Government Relations Committee. Gold Star Wives advocates for survivor issues on both the federal and state level. 

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Post #5263, will have a representative available. Since 1899, VFW is the largest combat Veterans Organization.

Representatives from Disabled American Veterans (DAV) will be in attendance. DAV is dedicated to empowering veterans to lead high quality lives with respect and dignity. They accomplish this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill; and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life.

Representatives from American Legion Post 29 will also be attending. The American Legion offers numerous resources, including the Operation Comfort Warriors program which supports recovering wounded warriors and their families. Representatives will also provide information on The Forty and Eight, a fraternal and charitable honor society of American veterans.

Cameron University Student Support Services (SSS) staff members will be in attendance. SSS is a federally funded Title IV program whose mission is to offer appropriate academic support services to Cameron University students who have academic need, are first-generation, have an economic need, or students with disabilities.

A representative of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services will be available to provide services on Wednesday..

The Redlands Veterans Upward Bound program will have a representative available. Veterans Upward Bound is a free college-prep program federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Cameron University’s George D. Keathley Department of Military Science will have representatives available, as will CU’s Student Veterans of America Chapter, which will provide information about the organization, activities and services.

The CU Office of Veterans Affairs will provide general information about the utilization of VA educational benefits. To learn more, call 580-581-2301 or email VA@cameron.edu.

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October 29, 2019