Student Veterans to Unite in New Club

Matthew Gromala, Reporter

The Misericordia University Veteran’s Organization seeks to unite students who are veterans of the Armed Forces.

Though not tied to any national group, the organization is needed because group founder and third-year Physician’s Assistant major Frederick Allenbaugh said student veterans need support and camaraderie. 

“There is a rise in the number of veterans and veteran family members that will be seeking education and using their GI Bill benefits,” said Allenbaugh.
While the club has “been in the works,” Allenbaugh said, last year he got started on forming it.
Allenbaugh said the university was very receptive.

“Always supportive. Our administration at this school is among the best. I have not only students interested, but many faculty members.”

The group has not determined a date for the first meeting, but it will be before the start of the spring semester, he said.

“Misericordia has a goal of becoming a nationally recognized university in the Military Friendly Universities catalog, which is a source for all persons who receive some sort of veteran benefit,” said Allenbaugh

The university is a member of the Yellow Ribbon Group,which provides student funding. As explained by the Veteran’s Administration’s website for the GI Bill, the group is part of the Yellow Ribbon program, which is a provision of the law that created the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and it is available to institutions of higher learning to partially or fully fund tuition and fee expenses that exceed  established thresholds under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

“Like any other university group, its goal is to provide a forum in which veteran related topics can be addressed,” said Allenbaugh. “I would like to see this organization be able to assist prospective students, current students, faculty members in any aspect of veteran-related topics, especially as it relates to integration, benefits and resources, and also a conduit for all university clubs and organization community to the veteran community both on and off campus.”

Veteran are utilizing The G.I. Bill to go to college in increasing numbers this last decade. This influx of veterans has come with the reduction of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and more generous financial incentives that cover a veteran’s tuition and expenses.

Student veterans face unique problems and challenges, and campus groups can provide a needed sense of camaraderie, and can serve to be very cathartic.

A survey by The American Council on Education found that about two-thirds  of 700 colleges and universities surveyed had some sort of club or organization for veterans on campus.

“It has been my goal to see this grow. I am a third year student, and this has been a project of the university’s for some time. My vision is to have a model organization that displays all university charisms [and is a] resource for all students, veterans, and family. I would like to see this grow and become a resource for all interested [students] to be part of and enjoy,” said Allenbaugh

For more information on the Veteran’s Organization, email Frederick Allenbaugh at [email protected]