Plans Underway for Veterans Affinity Group

February, 1, 2017

Establishment of a list serve to send information about upcoming events on campusspecific for veterans, like the Veterans Day lunch, is being developed.

Tommy Lucas, a graduate assistant and doctoral candidate, is spearheading much ofthe activity and occupies the Military and Veterans Enrollment Services Office inroom 15 of DuBourg Hall.

As a part of this effort, they would create their own bylaws and structure the groupas deemed necessary but would share similar values with the Student Veterans Associationto create an environment that is military friendly, and to continue to serve as menand women for others.

Lucas said the purpose of the group is to meet the needs of veterans at SLU they way groupsat major corporations have.

"It is not uncommon to see affinity groups form at large organizations like Ameren,Purina or InBev," Lucas said.

Air Force veteran Yvonne McCool, a grants development specialist at the School ofNursing, highlighted some of the events already taking place at SLU.

"As a part of creating a military friendly culture, the Office of Military and VeteranEnrollment Services hosts a veterans' lunch from noon to 2 p.m. every Friday at theBilliken Grill in the Busch Student Center," McCool said. "All veterans are welcometo come and meet other veterans, and can bring your own lunch, or buy it there."

In addition, McCool adds that they have been made aware of military personnel withSLU connections deploying for up to a year. In an effort to support these deployedservice members, the group plans to work with H.E.R.O.E.S. Care to assemble and shipcare packages.

"Lucas toured H.E.R.O.E.S. Care last week, and we have a list of items that can beshipped,"  McCool said. "We hope to take up a collection of items, cash for shippingand send care packages from SLU to our military deployed. Things are evolving andwe want to be here to support our brothers and sisters who continue to serve us. Whenpossible, we would like our deploying military to see SLU on the way out, feel thesupport of SLU while gone and see SLU when they return.

"As we are all members of the SLU community as well as the St. Louis metropolitanarea, it would be great to show our support for soldiers and their families throughouttheir deployment from our community."

If you are interested in supporting these efforts, register by filling out the online application. Employees are invited to share this information with anyone who may be interested.

McCool believes it is also important to identify family members of veterans and servicemembers here at SLU so that they can include them in upcoming activities.

"Family is critical to our success when serving our country and we do not want toexclude their families," McCool said. "The Google form allows interested members ofthe SLU community to indicate their desire, even if not a veteran.

For additional information, contact Yvonne McCool at [email protected] or 314-977-8957. McCool served in the Air Force from 1981 through 1992. She was apersonnel technician, and deployed to Korea in support of a joint exercise referredto as Team Spirit '85.

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