Mission: Service | University Nebraska Omaha offers learning benefits to veterans

Posted at 7:11 PM, Jul 05, 2022

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Justin Rohloff is a UNO freshman and a marine.

"I was sitting at a bar and I was trying to talk to the old guys and try to see, 'Hey, like I'm trying to figure this out.' I'm just, you know, venting my stressors at life."

He is currently a reservist, but before that he spent three years on active duty.

"And it just so happened that I was at the bar that the military-connected resource director was at," said Rohloff.

And the rest, as they say, was history.

"I came in here and I think one of the first things he said about me was 'He's sharp,'" said Rohloff.

However, transitioning from the fast-paced military back to life as a civilian and college student isn't easy for some.

“For me personally, yeah, there was a there was a big change in it. You're not you're not going 100 miles an hour," said Rohloff.

That's where UNO's Military-Connected Resource Center steps in.

The space located in the student center helps to nurture a more inclusive environment for military-affiliated students.

Dr. Harley Barmore is the resource center's director.

"I just finished up 21 and a half years in the Air Force," said Barmore.

He says he wasn't done serving after he retired as a lieutenant colonel.

"You're talking about a group of people who are putting their lives on the line for something that's bigger than they are and they want to use the benefits they've rightly earned in a most efficient manner," said Barmore.

He argues that not taking advantage of your veteran education benefits is a wasted opportunity.

"You're leaving money out on the table that you worked hard for," said Barmore.

Military-connected students will find more than just community at the resource center.

They'll also find quiet space to work on assignments, tutors from the writing center and mental health resources.

Barmore says the center even puts on events throughout the school year.

And what’s the purpose of it all?

"Getting students engaged, making them feel part of a bigger community. Making them feel like they fit in. That they're part of something that's this life betterment; that is going to college and getting an education and learning about the world around them. We're all part of that," said Barmore

If you're a veteran who is on the fence about using your education benefits, here's some advice from someone who used to be in your situation.

"Come have a conversation," said Rohloff. "We will do our best to connect you and make sure that you are achieving your potential. All you got to do is walk in the door and you're going to be greeted with family."

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