Help for veterans is an emerging theme in the Tri-Counties, and that’s a very good thing.
Studies suggest the number of veterans, including those who have seen active duty in combat areas, is going to grow substantially over the next decade.
And with college debt burdens growing, many young people are turning to military service as a way to save money and get funding to offset future college costs.
On Oct. 6, California Lutheran University stepped up its commitment to veterans, promising to work with government and other funding sources to fund tuition and fees for an unlimited number of qualified undergraduate and graduate students who have served their country.
The program complements a CLU Veterans Entreneurship Institute founded by former service members earlier this year.
On Oct. 7, UC Santa Barbara unveiled its new veterans’ center. The resource center is a vastly expanded version of the former bare-bones operation that now gives veterans a place to get resources, study and locate support services.
That center has garnered wide-ranging support from a number of programs including Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation which is based in Santa Barbara and supports programs across the region.
Earlier in October, the Veteran’s Administration announced that it was providing $6 million over three years to support services for homeless veterans in San Luis Obispo County.
The Community Action Partnership and Good Samaritan Services are coordinating two separate grant programs.
When our military is deployed in Africa to keep the Ebola virus from spreading or deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq or over the skies of Syria to keep ISIS from becoming a more effective global terror threat, veterans really do matter.
Veterans are tough. They can take it. They are unbelievably self-reliant. But nobody succeeds all on their own.
It’s good to see our region stepping up to provide much-needed services.