New lounge for veterans at ETSU
There's a new lounge on campus at ETSU and it's reserved for a specific group of students.
The first ever veterans’ lounge opened on campus Friday and it's reserved for the hundreds of veterans, or veteran dependents, on the Johnson City campus.
“It's just a real quiet place we all know how to act because we're lived amongst each other for so long so to come here and be with the brothers in arms we've always fought with its real vital," says graduate student Andy Price.
For ETSU Freshman Amber Burton life after the Marines was an adjustment, “At first it was really scary because I didn't really know how to adapt to being in school, because I'm used to doing certain things and being told to do certain things and with school it's all on you so it's definitely different."
Now this lounge can be a place where students going through similar experiences can get together. There's an area to rest and relax, a place to study, a computer, a TV, a place for job postings and hopefully in the future some opportunities to bring in employers looking to hire veterans.
"Give them a place where they can bond with other vets in between classes and having something they can feel as their own," says Kevin Flanary, ETSU Veterans Affairs
Right now there are about 500 veterans or veteran dependents enrolled at ETSU, but over the next couple of years that number is expected to grow.
For many veterans the post 911 GI Bill can help provide some funding for school, “Post 911 GI Bill creates a stipend it can pay up to 100% of their tuition fees a book stipend and close to $1,000 a month for housing."
For now student veterans here say they're excited to have a place to call their own.
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