By ISAIAH FLORES
Amarillo College’s veterans’ services helps veterans who want to gain an education. They can sign up on the college website. Once they’ve followed the required steps, they can begin the process of starting their academic careers.
Kelly Murphy is the veterans’ coordinator for Amarillo College. Her job is to help veterans receive their educational benefits in order for them to begin their academic journey. “Veterans services help veterans and their dependents and spouses utilize the federal education benefits that they earned while in service,” Murphy said. “They just have a benefit that helps them when they go to school, nothing too different. It’s just another resource that helps those students get financially.”
Kye M. Ramirez is a business management major, as well as an adult outreach enrollment adviser. Ramirez is a veteran who is going to graduate this May. He said that veterans sometimes have trouble adapting to college. “We have a different lifestyle, so we kind of live by a different set of values that are very structured, and sometimes forming relationships can be a bit difficult, but that’s part of the process of reintegration,” Ramirez said.
Daniel Morrow, an AC graduate, said that his veteran’s benefits covered his tuition, part of his books and provided a living stipend. He encourages veterans who are considering going to college, pointing out they have valuable life experiences to share. “You can bring your experiences from Marine Corps and maybe being overseas into their classroom for everyone to learn,” Morrow said.
Marrow also said that veterans face some disadvantages within the classroom. “Downsides are you’re a little bit older, you leave a community of veterans and active-duty servicemen and women. You come home and you have to learn to adapt to the college lifestyle, as compared to the military, but once that change occurs, it’s all downhill from there,” he said.
“It’s about finding your new passion for school and what exactly you want to pursue, and also finding that group of people that you can interact with, who are like-minded like yourself, ” Morrow said.
For more information about veterans services at AC, go to https://www.actx.edu/veterans/
Ramirez urges fellow veterans to seek out educational opportunities. “There’s nothing wrong bettering yourself. Even if it’s one or two classes or getting a degree, get out there and engage your community. You can do it by getting this education,” Ramirez said.