Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Getting help in the right place for Veterans

The transition back to civilian life after being in the military for many years can be a much more difficult feat than one may think.

After months or years of a very specific schedule, intense training and many challenging adventures, it may take time to get back on track to a “normal” life.

At least for business major, Giovanni Cruz, it was roughly a year-long transition.

“I took a year off to try and get myself together,” said Cruz. “So for that whole year, I pretty much didn’t really do anything. I was really kind of just like… shut down.”

Veterans Club President
Giovanni Cruz, 27, business major and President of the Veterans Club stands in front of the old sign of the Veterans Resource Center at Fullerton College. Photo credit: Sue Hwang

Cruz, now the president of the Veterans Club, turned to the Veterans Resource Center to seek help in getting back on track and furthering his education.

“What helped me out in the transition was connecting with the veterans out here.”

The Veterans Resource Center is a place where vets, active duty, reservists and even dependents of military personnel can find the proper resources to help them get through school. Such services include counselors, information on the benefits they can receive and just a great place to relax.

“It’s kind of secluded, you know, an away space where you can study if you want to or just hang out and talk to people who have similar experiences to what you do,” said computer information systems major, Travis Mahaffey.

Break time
Raquel Beutler, 22, biology major, and Richard Casillas, 22, sociology major, take a study break at the Veterans Resource Center at Fullerton College. Photo credit: Sue Hwang

Another great benefit of the VRC is the tutoring service they offer. Tutors specialize in math, reading and English and is offered during the office hours, where walk-ins are accepted as well.

According to Raquel Beutler, a biology major, she’s doing a lot better in her math class because of the tutoring services.

Located in the 500 Building, the VRC offers a great quiet place to study with many computers available to use with printing capabilities.

Getting work done
Veteran students and club members complete their homework in the computer lab at the Veterans Resource Center at Fullerton College. Photo credit: Sue Hwang

This semester is also the first time they have a full-time counselor on duty, as well as a part-time counselor who can also be found at the main counseling center.

“The counselors are amazing. They connect with you. It’s not just ‘Hey! Let’s do this and let’s get you out of here.’ No… you connect with them,” said Beutler.

Not only are there counselors available to help with the educational journeys of those who use the VRC services, there is even additional help for those going through challenging transitions.

The Veterans Crisis Line allows vets and their loved ones to receive confidential support 24 hours a day.

Members Hangout
Miguel Aispuro, 20, business, history, and geography major, and Samantha Sotelo, 20, psychology major, relax on the couches in the Veterans Resouce Center at Fullerton College. Photo credit: Sue Hwang

The Veterans Club and the VRC go hand in hand when it comes to events and activities that they plan in order for their students to feel a part of a community of individuals who are accustomed to the military life.

Coming up in October, a care package drive and pumpkin carving contest are planned, and even a workshop that helps students learn about the different programs offered at Cal State Fullerton. Other schools from around the district will even be able to partake in a softball game between the different VRCs, the date of which is still to be determined.

November will hold more than just something for Veteran’s Day, but a Veterans Awareness Week, where a documentary about deployments in Afghanistan will be shown, a BBQ will take place, and a memorial of those we have lost in the form of the Wall of Remembrance.

Diligently working
Austin Hassoldt, 24, bio chem major and treasurer of the Veterans Club, manages the front desk at the Veteran Resource Center at Fullerton College. Photo credit: Sue Hwang

Overall, students feel welcomed and at-home when they visit the Veterans Resource Center because of the friendly staff, who also know what it’s like to receive benefits from the Veteran’s Assistance program. They’re knowledgable and have the proper connections to help find answers to make the road to finishing school become a lot smoother.

The VRC is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m to 7 p.m., and on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

To schedule an appointment with a counselor or for general questions, you can call (714) 992-7102, email [email protected], or drop by Room 518.

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