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Hagan, Brady speak at Veteran’s Expo

First event of it’s kind to take place within the UNC-System


Published: Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Updated: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 08:09

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On Tuesday, September 7, the first annual Veterans and Military Expo took place in the EUC.

The Expo was organized by Josh Green, a graduate of UNCG who served for five years as a military policeman. In an interview before the event with Michelle Hines from University Relations, Green stated, “It’s just a really good thing to let our community, and our campus, know we really care.”

The event featured a panel discussion from 1 to 2 p.m. in the EUC Auditorium, with U.S. Senator Kay Hagan leading the conversation. The following two hours featured a resource fair with representatives from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and other organizations.

Mike Tarrant, the Special Assistant to the Chancellor, commented on the importance of the first ever Expo. “We want the University to reach out to students here on campus who are veterans and also to students who are family members of a veteran.  We have a large student veteran population.” Tarrant continued, “Over 300 students we know of are receiving G.I bill benefits.”

The Post 9/11 G.I. bill was passed in August of 2009 to “provide financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days.”

Tarrant continued, “We want to show them (veterans) that we support them and we want to provide them with the resources that they need to be successful. Also it is a part of our effort to reach out to the community. The motto of the university is service.”

Chancellor Brady also spoke of the importance of events in support of Veterans. “We believe veterans will become an increasingly important part of the UNCG community. We have growing enrollment in both undergraduate and graduate programs who are veterans and military personnel. Our goal is to provide these students with the courses and degree programs they need whether here on campus or via online.”

The resource fair was attended by veterans of all branches of the armed forces. Veterans were able to speak with not only representatives from Veterans Affairs, but also Troops for Teachers, Disability Services, and the Yellow Ribbon Program.

The Department of Defense Yellow Ribbon Program was established by the Secretary of Defense  “to provide information, services, referral, and proactive outreach programs to Soldiers and their Families through the deployment cycle using a three phase program.” Those three phases are Pre-Deployment, Deployment, and Post-Deployment. A pamphlet states that the program “is a reminder that support of Soldiers will not end when they return from deployment and that we will not untie our ribbons until all Soldiers and Families are HOME.”

Judith Marsh, a representative from Veterans Affairs commented on the opportunity to reach out to veterans at UNCG. “Anytime we have an opportunity to have a forum with the public and the student body we are just so happy to be here.”

Marsh added, “There are three different resources in the VA. There is the Benefits Administration, the Health Administration, and we run the National Cemetery Administration, which is the largest cemetery system in the world.”

Marsh continued that, “We are the second largest of all the civilian agencies in the government. We do a good service for those who have served. We are just trying to get the word out because it is so disappointing to meet a veteran later in life that could have had services from the very beginning.”

More information for veterans looking for benefits can be found at and

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