MILLEDGEVILLE — Veterans are a very big part of the history of Milledgeville and Baldwin County. A new organization has been established at Georgia Military College called the Student Veterans Association (SVA) and it was signed into being on Monday, March 3, 2014.
The local GMC Chapter of the National SVA will provide military veterans with resources, support and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education and post-graduation.
The founding members of the local chapter are Robert Henry, president, USMC; Detorio Brown, USN, vice president; Mallory McMahon, treasurer, USA; and Joe Yantz, USA, secretary. All of the founding members are military veterans, but membership in the GMC SVA will be open to honorary members who can be anyone at GMC who has an interest in veteran concerns.
GMC has always had a contingent of veterans among their students, but they have not been organized as a specific group under the Office of Student Activities until this time.
The SVA will have two faculty advisors. Lt. Col. Edward Shelor and Dr. Jeannie Zipperer will serve as advisors during the formation and development of the local chapter and will be joined by other faculty and staff who wish to support the organization.
Of interest, the members of the SVA will have a modest budget which will allow for off-campus travel and activities for these students. The founding members made it a point to say that the trips should have meaning in the sense they are not simply to be used as a vacation; they will travel with the purpose of advancing their education, helping other people and adding to their personal development.
Since the founding of the National SVA in 2008, more than one million veterans have returned home to pursue a postsecondary degree or certificate using VA education benefits. To meet this need, SVA’s presence at the local and national levels has grown to include over 950 chapter affiliates, numerous private and non-profit partners, and most importantly, an expanding list of programs and services for veterans.