Auburn Student Veterans Association hosted a luncheon for many prominent faculty and staff members from the various colleges and schools, said ASVA President Dan McClain who is a junior in computer science.
Guest speaker for the luncheon, Mike Dakduk, Executive Director of Student Veterans of America, also entertained student veterans and city officials, such as Mayor Bill Ham Jr.
Dakduk received a degree in public administration from University of Nevada – Las Vegas in 2010. Dakduk has been involved with Student Veterans of America since his time at UNLV.
Before becoming a student, Dakduk was a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps for four years plus one month.
“The purpose of the luncheon is to bring veterans together to celebrate their service,” McClain said. “We will take a portion of the proceeds and donate it to Gameday for Heroes.”
“Gameday for Heroes is a not-for-profit organization that sends wounded and active duty military personnel to college sporting events, focusing mainly on football, basketball, and baseball,” according to their website.
The organization takes donations of all kinds – monetary, unused tickets and donations from athletic departments and ticket offices – in order to send the personnel to the games, says the website.
The luncheon, held on Nov. 13, 2012, also helped to advertise the ASVA and what they do for the veteran population attending Auburn University, said McClain.
Student veterans have something to look forward to on campus. The new Veteran’s Resource Center officially opened the same day as the luncheon.
McClain said the new resource center will be located in Foy Hall. The resource center will be open from 8 a.m. until 4:45 p.m.
The VA office will also be located in the Veterans Resource Center. “That means veterans will no longer go to Mary Martin to get their GI Bill certified,” McClain said.
According to McClain, not only will veterans have access to the VA office, the VA will also be sending a representative to the resource center on a regular rotation. Career services will also continue to send a representative on a regular basis to aid veterans with career decisions, resume building, etc…
McClain says he is happy to see Auburn dedicating the time and resources to it student veteran population.
Considering Auburn’s strong connection to the military, McClain believes this will make Auburn an even more attractive option for those student veterans looking for the perfect school to attend.
"I believe it will have the effect of making Auburn a much more popular choice for veterans seeking higher education,” McClain said.
McClain also believes this resource center will help to ensure the future of Auburn’s connection with the military.