Veterans are encouraged to visit the Veterans Resource Center located in the Dakota County Technical College Student Life Center.
Ray Bohn, the new director of Veterans Resource Center and a veteran, said that he and the center are there to help.
“Our main goal with the veterans center is to assist veterans in getting all the education benefits that are coming to them,” Bohn said. “It’s supposed to be a place were veterans can come and relax.”
The center is there for any veteran of any branch of the military, whether they were active or reservists.
The Veterans Resource Center is an initiative by the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities to help out all veterans that want to get a higher education.
Bohn said that when members of the military are discharged, 80 percent say their next step is going to be higher education.
“It’s not anywhere near that,” Bohn said.
That is why the program started – to make sure every veteran that wants to go get a degree has that opportunity.
According to Bohn, all MnSCU institutions are required to have a veterans center, and private colleges and universities are encouraged to have one. Minnesota is the only state in the country that requires the centers.
The veteran’s resource center is staffed all day long to advise veterans about the programs available to them, help walk them through the process, and make sure everything is done the right way, Bohn said.
Helping out with the education benefits is the main goal of the center, but not its only purpose.
“If they want to talk or get away from things, we’re here for them,” Bohn said. “We have access to a lot of outside resources. We can make referrals for just about any problem they have, whether it be school, home, family, or anything else.”
According to the financial aid and scholarship office, 65 veterans are currently getting help on campus, but an increase is projected.
“We expect that number to more than double,” DCTC Financial Aid Director Scott Roelke said.
When it does grow, Bohn and the Veterans Resource Center are there to help.