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VVC unveils new Veterans Center

Daily Press - 5/11/2017

May 11--VICTORVILLE -- For Victor Valley College officials, the grand opening of the Veterans Resource Center on Wednesday was a reflection of their commitment to being a "veteran-friendly college."

"If we're ever not, come to my office and let me know because I want to hear about it," VVC Superintendent/President Dr. Roger Wagner said.

The new center on the lower campus is significantly larger than its former location on the top floor of the Student Activities Center, and includes additional resources for veteran students, including academic counseling, a computer lab and a lounge area.

Wednesday's ceremony included presentations from local dignitaries and a ribbon cutting for the center, which was largely funded through the work of the VVC Foundation and grants provided by Bank of America and Wal-Mart.

VVC Financial Aid Director Jason Judkins said he hoped the center would "feel like a second home" for veteran students, and serve as a place where they can relax, meet fellow peers and gain knowledge of additional services available to them in the community.

For Jesus Caro, the incoming VVC Veterans Club President, the support from the college is what has kept him enrolled.

"A year ago, I didn't know what I was going to do ... At first, I was scared," Caro said. "The importance of having the Veterans Resource Center is that this is where we come together. We get to feel the camaraderie."

And as Wagner explained, "unless you've been in the military, you can't understand that level of camaraderie."

"I owe everything to the military," Wagner said. "We're here to help pay it back."

Representing the High Desert Vet Center, Jamal Fletcher said that the addition of the center at VVC had personal meaning to him as a veteran and a student who uses the G.I. Bill.

"It means a lot to see veterans come together and support each other," Fletcher said. "This doesn't just have to be our veterans alone ... It's a continuing effort between students, faculty, the community and their families."

The VRC is located in building 80 on VVC's lower campus and is open to all veteran students and their dependents.

Charity Lindsey may be contacted at clindsey@vvdailypress.com or 760-951-6245. Follow her on Twitter @DP_Charity.

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(c)2017 Daily Press, Victorville, Calif.

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