November 24, 2023
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Editorial: Region steps up to pay back troops, veterans


When we wrote about the growing need for services for military veterans a few weeks ago, we were overwhelmed by the response from organizations wanting help in getting the word out about their programs.

So, with Veteran’s Day approaching, we thought we’d  highlight just a few of the amazing efforts that take place in our region to support veterans and active service members. Among them:

• Support for active duty service members. Thanks to the generosity of the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation and others, Family Readiness Groups at Naval Base Ventura County and Vandenberg Air Force Base are standing by to help families and friends of enlisted men and women with emergency financial assistance and a number of other programs.

• Veterans’ resource programs at UC Santa Barbara and other colleges and universities in the region.  The team at UCSB has been operating since 2012, helping to facilitate student veterans as they enter civilian and university life.These programs also help identify access to veterans’ benefits, resources and mentors to help smooth the way to a career path. CSU Channel Islands also has been successful in helping veterans identify resources, particularly through its Business & Technology Partnership. The Santa Barbara Foundation provides funds for financial aid to students at UCSB and Santa Barbara City College.

• Outreach to the Hispanic community. The U.S. Army works with the League of United Latin American Citizens. LULAC’s National Education Service Centers help high school students get information about opportunities to join ROTC and receive a financial path to a college education. Military service becomes an important first step to a career path for many of these students.