Almost 30 organizations aimed at assisting veterans, military service members and their dependents will be on hand at Cameron University’s Veterans Resource Fair, slated for April 13-14. The event takes place 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.
“This is a great opportunity for veterans from across southwestern Oklahoma,” says Vicki Henson, CU Coordinator of Veteran Affairs. “With 29 veteran-related organizations on site, we will offer a wealth of information about free resources available to our veterans and military-connected students.”
Christina Gilmartin, and Deena Rasmussen, supervisory veterans claims examiners for the Muskogee Federal Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Processing Office, will be available to discuss VA educational benefits.
Rachel Barber, military services coordinator for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, will be on hand to share VA compensation and pension benefits.
Shannon J. Evans, human resources supervisor, and Vernon Scott, human resources specialist, both from the Muskogee VA Regional Office can provide information about the federal hiring process, how to access and utilize USAjobs, types of veterans preference, and tips for writing a federal resume.
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. He also provides information about the Federal Department of Veteran Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program, which includes assistance with job training, employment accommodations, resume development, independent personal business initiation and job-seeking skills coaching.
Michael Gardner, RN, BSN, Native American Nurse Navigator and Tribal Liaison, VA Medical Center, Oklahoma City, will be on site 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.
Lisa Mosely, MyHealtheVet representative from the federal VA Oklahoma City Healthcare System will share about the Online VA Healthcare system that allows veterans to refill prescriptions, view appointments, send non-urgent secure messages to providers they visited in appointments, view and download medical records, labs, and test information.
The City of Lawton will have human resource representatives to share about career opportunities for veterans through employment with the city of Lawton.
Oklahoma Works - American Job Network (including veteran services) will have a representative available.
Representatives from USO Oklahoma, a non-profit, non-governmental agency located on Fort Sill, will be available. USO Oklahoma keeps military service members connected to family, home and country throughout their service to the nation.
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 representative 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 the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs (ODVA) will be available 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.
Alisha Fry, licensed clinical social worker and suicide prevention coordinator for the Suicide Prevention Office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, will be available to acquaint attendees with available resources.
Jennifer Scott, LPCC, NBCC, outreach specialist representing Survivor Outreach Services at Fort Sill, will provide information about long-term support for surviving families of fallen soldiers.
Gold Star Wives of America, a congressionally chartered service organization that advocates for survivor issues on both the federal and state levels, will be represented by Pat Collins Miller, government relations committee.
The Lawton/Fort Sill chapter of the Oklahoma Women Veterans Organization, provides numerous services to Oklahoma women veterans. The organization will have a representative available.
The Red Cord, an organization committed to eliminating human trafficking, will share information about its services. The organization focuses on education and awareness of human trafficking and how to prevent and report it. The nation’s military population is likely to be impacted by human trafficking, so awareness is a significant key to prevention.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post #5263, will have a representative available. VFW serves more than 1.7 million members through numerous programs and services, which include ensuring that veterans receive earned entitlements.
Disabled American Veterans, dedicated to empowering veterans to lead high quality lives with respect and dignity, will also be on hand. The organization ensures that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them, fights for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill, and educates the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life.
Representatives from American Legion Post 29 will also be in attendance. 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.
The Comanche County Veterans Council will have representatives available. The organization aids veterans and their families in seeking out government agencies that can assist them in resolving their problems and needs.
Staff members from Cameron’s Student Enrichment Center will be available to share information about available resources, which include personalized non-academic support, coaching sessions aimed at increasing study skills, access to various community resources to help meet food, housing, and health care needs, job shadowing and internships, financial literacy and more.
Cameron’s Office of Student Support Services (SSS) will also be available. SSS is a federally funded Title IV program whose mission is to offer appropriate academic support services to Cameron students who have academic need, are first generation, have an economic need, or students with disabilities.
Representatives from Paws with Love Therapy Dogs, Inc., will provide the opportunity to pet the dogs. Therapy dogs are beneficial in helping people lower stress levels, blood pressure, reduce anxiety and increase endorphins and oxytocin.
The George D. Keathley Department of Military Science at CU will have representatives available, as will CU’s Student Veterans of America chapter, which will provide information about the organization, activities and services.
The Redlands Veterans Upward Bound program will have a representative available. The Veterans Upward bound is a free college-prep program federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
The CU Office of Veterans Affairs will provide general information about utilization of VA educational benefits.