Allentown
70° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds
 

ESU opens veterans center on campus

By John Craven, Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 09 2013 05:37:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 10 2013 05:58:37 AM CDT

Veterans center at ESU

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. -

They served our nation. Now, East Stroudsburg University is serving them with a new Student Veterans Center. It's a move that could help the school grow.

Dennis Higgins is just weeks away from graduating at ESU.

"I am a psychology major," he said.

But he's also a veteran.

"I was in the Army from 2001 until 2010," he said. "I deployed to Iraq five times and Afghanistan twice."

Dennis is not alone. More than a hundred veterans go to school at East Stroudsburg. Now, there is a new place to help them out.

Tuesday, the school unveiled its new Student Veterans Center, a one-stop shop where many vets learn about money they didn't even know they qualified for.

"They can't believe the amount of paperwork," said ESU's veteran services counselor. "They have a very hard time. They struggle through it."

Angelo Vazquez left the Air Force after four years as a pharmacy tech.

"And I tried to go back to school right away, and it was absolutely -- it was a nightmare," he said of his experience before ESU.

It's not just those in uniform who benefit. East Stroudsburg's new president hopes the school can grow its veteran enrollment.

"I would like to have us differentiated so that when you say ESU, people know, 'Oh, that's where if I'm a veteran, they have the services for me,'" said ESU president Dr. Marcia Welsh.

For Higgins, the next stop is grad school, where he hopes to give back as a clinical psychologist.

"The mental health care that veterans are getting -- they needed help," he said.

It's all because one school gave him some help.