New grants for veterans’ benefits

The Veterans Day parade on November 12th at Lincoln Park in Denver, CO. The U.S. Departments of Education, Defense and Veterans' Affairs created a partnership to help transition veterans back into civilian life. (Andy Cross/AP Exchange)

In this month of giving thanks and honoring veterans, good news comes of a partnership between the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to improve veterans’ benefits, aiming to help their transition to civilian life and specifically higher education. In addition to this, the Newman’s Own Foundation recently gave the University of Connecticut Foundation a $40,000 grant in honor of veterans and active service members, which will be put to the Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for Veterans with Disabilities. Learning of these programs established in order to support those who have dedicated their lives to protecting us is heartwarming.

UConn offers veterans benefits through the Veterans Affairs and Military Programs Office, including vocational rehabilitation benefits and the Connecticut Vets Tuition waver. The new partnership offers programs that inform veterans about the benefits. Examples include comparison tools that help veterans decide on a college in order to pick the best choice based on time, money, benefits and academic support and counseling for veterans. This is part of the efforts of the Post-9/11 GI Bill which has provided almost 1.7 million people with $68.9 billion of education benefits.

The other grant, from the Newman’s Own Foundation, will contribute to the Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for Veterans with Disabilities, which is a program that helps ensure the economic stability of disabled veterans. This $40,000 grant can fund two veterans to go through the program. This is part of the empowerment focus area, one of Newman’s Own Foundation’s four areas: philanthropy, children, empowerment and nutrition. It is great that in this quarter, the foundation supports the education and career goals of returning service members. This grant was gifted to the university as part of these goals, and the university must work to continue to support and progress these goals.

The news of these grants and the support of these programs is exciting. Veterans have dedicated their lives to serving our country and protecting our freedom, and it is our responsibility as citizens to help them adjust and succeed in civilian life. It is great that these state departments and foundations have provided support for the programs at our university. The university and its students must make all efforts to help those who have served our country.