There’s a small room nestled inside the student center at Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo military veterans at the school can now call their own.
On Wednesday, Ivy Tech officials and a group of veterans officially opened the campus’ Veterans Resource Center.
The center is furnished with sofas, a flat-screen television, DVD player and computers with voice-recognition software for disabled veterans who have trouble typing.
It’s a place where veterans can come in and study together or just hang out and socialize, said Ivy Tech Kokomo’s veterans coordinator Melissa Dwight.
“A room dedicated just for veterans, it’s a space they can call their own as they make the sometimes challenging transition from military service back to civilian life,” she said.
The center is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. It is staffed by six Ivy Tech students in the Veterans Administration work study program.
Those students, all veterans themselves, will be able to help others sign up for VA benefits — something that’s often a challenge.
Daniel Madson said the center will have a real impact on the nearly 200 Ivy Tech Kokomo region students who have served in the military.
He would know. He’s one of them.
Madson served eight years in the U.S. Army.
“We’re not always thought about, or we’re misunderstood,” he said.
And veterans, especially ones who served in combat, often face unique challenges when they return to school, he said.
The noise on a college campus is sometimes a distraction to them — one that can make it hard to study or focus.
That was something considered when the center was designed.
Madson invited some community members inside the room Wednesday to talk to them about its features.