Written by: Bryan Glenn
In the summer of 2013, a club was formed here at CF to help veterans acclimate to college life and to help them feel a part of the community by giving them the opportunity to meet veterans from all over to make connections.
“Not only is the club specifically for the veterans here on campus, but our mission is to help veterans within the community feel at home as well,” said Jay Miller, President of the Veterans Club.
The founder of the Veteran’s Club, Dr. Benlolo, started the club in July, and since then the club has already grown to over a dozen volunteers; some of them veterans and some of them just regular students wanting serve and participate in the club.
According to Miller, there are over 300 veterans on campus and a majority of them are dealing with post-traumatic stress as well as Hyper Anxiety Disorder, an illness dealing with fear, defensive reactions and past-traumatic experiences, according to the Institute of Mental Health.
As a veteran himself, Miller knows the struggle of post military life and how hard it can be to adjust to everyday life.
This holiday season the veteran’s club is really making a name for themselves, starting with feeding the homeless community of Ocala in November, and creating what is known as a shoe box Christmas. These shoe boxes will be filled with various goodies and sent to the children of the veteran’s community.
Along with feeding the homeless, and sending out gifts this season, the newly established club is putting together a fundraiser in the near future with a local improve group known as the Second Thought Improve.
According to the National Institute of Health, post-traumatic stress is a type of anxiety disorder; it can occur after you have gone through extreme emotional trauma that involved the threat and/or injury as well as death.
“I want to educate the student population and even the community, that those diagnosis’s are not exactly a stigma, in fact you could be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress and/or Hyper Anxiety Disorder and still be a fully functioning member of society,” Miller said.
The club meets every semester, for the entire year. All CF students are welcome to join and participate; the club meets once every Wednesday at 12:30p.m. on the second floor of building five. For more information contact Jay Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.