(music)>>Allison Hirth, Reporting: EVERY YEAR, THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS ENROLL AT TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY WITH ONE GOAL IN MIND: TO EARN A DEGREE. BUT AMONG THEM ARE HUNDREDS OF MILITARY VETERANS…>>Kyle Chapman, Veteran: I served in the United States Marine Corps.>>Allison Hirth: … WHOSE PATH TO COLLEGE…>>Daniel Ayala, Veteran: I was in the Army from 2005 to 2012.>>Allison Hirth: … OFTEN BEGINS ON A BATTLEFIELD. THERE ARE MORE THAN 600 VETERANS GOING TO SCHOOL AT TEXAS TECH, AND MILITARY AND VETERANS PROGRAMS HOPES TO MAKE THEIR LIVES IN LUBBOCK A LITTLE EASIER.>>Debra Crosby, Director: We help veterans and their families transition into the campus.>>Allison Hirth: MVP, WHICH WAS CREATED IN 2010, IS SOLELY DEDICATED TO HELPING VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES SUCCEED AT TEXAS TECH. THERE ARE MORE THAN 2,100 VETERAN STUDENTS OR FAMILY MEMBERS OF VETS ON CAMPUS.>>Sara Henley, TTUHSC Veterans and Military Advisor: Tech is lucky to have the office… the MVP office… over there, because they have the staff available, where students can actually walk in and get the help that they need to transition, or use their benefits when they get out of service.>>Allison Hirth: BEYOND NAVIGATING BENEFITS, BOTH FEDERAL AND STATE…>>Eric Washington, Veteran: … then there’s also the practical things you know how do I buy books? Where do I get them from?
How do I register for classes?>>Allison Hirth: MVP HOLDS SOMETHING CALLED “TECH VET BOOT CAMP”, PROVIDING VETERANS WITH BEST PRACTICES IN STUDY SKILLS, TIME AND MONEY MANAGEMENT, WRITING AND MORE.>>Debra Crosby: So, there’s tutoring, mentoring… all different offices on campus that we partner with.>>Eric Washington: It’s basically a two-day course, that you come here, it’s before the semester starts, your first semester…>>Debra Crosby: They get to connect with each other, so they don’t feel alone. A lot of times, what we see with service members is they’ve lost that community… that feeling of community, feeling of support that they’ve had in the military with each other, and this, they can connect with each other before school even starts.>>Allison Hirth: THERE ARE SEVERAL MILITARY AND VETERAN-RELATED ORGANIZATIONS AT TEXAS TECH, INCLUDING THE MILITARY AND VETERANS NATIONAL ALUMNI CHAPTER, THE VETERANS ASSOCIATION AT TEXAS TECH AND “SALUTE” VETERANS NATIONAL HONOR SOCIETY. MVP IS SO DEDICATED TO STUDENT SUCCESS, THE DEPARTMENT OFFERS A LOT OF OTHER OPPORTUNITIES OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM, ALL OF THEM MEANT TO EMPOWER VETS, LIKE THE NATIONAL PURPLE HEART RECOGNITION AND FLAG DEDICATION, OR THE GRADUATION STOLE AND RECOGNITION CEREMONY. THERE’S A WALL OF HONOR RECOGNIZING MILITARY ALUMNI, AND THE PURPLE HEART WALL, HONORING RED RAIDERS WHO WERE WOUNDED OR KILLED WHILE SERVING. MVP ALSO IS TIGHTLY TIED TO ATHLETICS, WHERE YOU’LL FIND VETERANS ENJOYING TEXAS TECH BASEBALL, TAILGATING BEFORE THE MILITARY APPRECIATION GAME, OR ACROSS THE STREET AT JONES STADIUM FOR THE CELEBRATING AMERICA FOOTBALL GAME, AND INSIDE UNITED SUPERMARKETS ARENA, HONORED BEFORE BASKETBALL GAMES.>>Debra Crosby: We have this support from the top down. It’s not just the MVP office supporting. Everybody takes part in that.>>Allison Hirth: AND BY PARTNERING WITH THE UNIVERSITY CAREER CENTER, MVP PROMOTES A PROGRAM FOR VETERANS CALLED “CAMO TO CORPORATE”.>>Debra Crosby: It provides valuable skills as they enter the workforce. They’ll go over resume writing,
cover letter writing… They have a mocktail party and an etiquette dinner… and once they complete these tasks, they’re provided with a free tailored suit.>>Allison Hirth: THERE ARE MORE THAN 250 RED RAIDER FACULTY AND STAFF WHO HAVE ALSO SERVED. AND FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T, MVP MAKES SURE THEY BETTER UNDERSTAND VETERAN STUDENTS, BY OFFERING SOMETHING CALLED “GREEN ZONE TRAINING”.>>Debra Crosby: It gives them some sense of the transition issues that veterans face coming out of the military.>>Allison Hirth: YOU’LL SEE THIS LOGO AROUND CAMPUS, SIGNALING WHO HAS BEEN THOUGH IT.>>Eric Washington: That’s so useful as a veteran coming in, to know that your professor, or somebody working in your department, wants to take the time to understand what you’ve gone through, specifically.>>Allison Hirth: LOOKING AHEAD, MVP HOPES TO ATTRACT EVEN MORE VETERANS TO TEXAS TECH, GUIDING THEM TOWARD A DEGREE THAT WILL CHANGE THEIR FUTURE FOR THE BETTER.>>Debra Crosby: We do this by developing a culture of support and community that makes sure each individual feels like they matter and belong.