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STLCC’s “March Muster” Event Helps Local Veterans

April 08, 2014

March Muster  
Patrick Vaughn, left, and Tracy Carpenter Bond, right, of STLCC welcome John Mizer of the Vet Center Mobile Unit to the STLCC-Wildwood campus.

Former servicemen and servicewomen can avail themselves of many resources and benefits, but many are unsure how to access services and information once they are back from deployment. 

St. Louis Community College’s Wildwood campus recently hosted a special event for local veterans to help veterans acclimate back into civilian life and provide crucial next steps toward achieving their goals.

The “March Muster” brought resources from around the metro St. Louis area together, and provided an opportunity for veterans to get information, enroll in benefits, and visit with employers and legislators.

The event had three focus areas: health, family and future. Representatives from the Vet Center and its mobile unit, Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom VA Healthcare System, The Mission Continues, and the VA regional office were on hand to assist veterans in accessing healthcare benefits, registering for E-benefits accounts, and starting the disability benefits process.

Former servicemen could also apply for VA educational benefits and start the enrollment process for St. Louis Community College. They could also join various veterans groups such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars or STLCC Student Veterans Club. 

AT&T, R.R. Donnelley and Schnucks Markets were at the event seeking veterans for open positions at their companies.

Mo. Speaker of the House Tim Jones (R-District 10) and Mo. Sen. Brian Nieves (R-District 26) also had an opportunity to speak with those in attendance.

Tracy Carpenter Bond, St. Louis Community College’s coordinator of veterans affairs, was pleased that the event could bring so many different entities together for the benefit of veterans.

“It was a great networking opportunity where employers, VA Resources and STLCC professionals were able to lock arms, creating a network where veterans are less likely to fall through the cracks,” she said. “The veterans who attended this event were able to get one-on-one attention from resources and school officials without the wait and in one common location.”

Key partners of the event also included Mike Pate, military liaison for Sen. Nieves, and Steven Weingart, veterans representative for the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

STLCC hopes to hold similar events at their Meramec, Florissant Valley and Forest Park campuses to benefit veterans in those areas.