Operation: Success — Veterans maintain grant

IUS Horizon

For the third year in a row, IU Southeast will receive the Operation Diploma Grant – a grant that helps assist the university in its efforts to support student veterans and their families. The grant is a partnership between IU Southeast and Ivy Tech.

The Operation Diploma Grant is made possible through Lilly Endowment, Inc. and is an initiative of the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University.

Operation Diploma Grant seeks to educate Indiana institutions about the needs of student service members and veterans, engage them in promising practices related to serving the population and generate new knowledge in the process.

Through this grant, student veteran’s organizations are able to help create and run programs that will support student service members and their families.

Officials of the Operation Diploma Grant conduct a competitive grant proposal process through which Indiana colleges and universities can request funding to strengthen their internal programs that assist military veterans and their families.

This year IU Southeast was awarded $2,000. This is the fourth grant for veterans on campus.

One important issue to the Student Veterans Organization, according to Katrina Ortensie, sophomore and SVO secretary, and by Nancy McLain, senior and SVO president, is to free Amir Hekmati, a former marine who has been detained and sentenced to death in Iran.

Hekmati is an Iranian-American born in Arizona and accused of spying for the CIA.  Hekmati was visiting Iran in August 2011 to see his ailing grandmother. Although Hekmati was assured it was safe to make the trip by the Iranian Interests Section in Washington D.C., he was turned over to authorities in Tehran.

Amnesty International, an organization dedicated to protecting human rights, has expressed the fear that Hekmati could be executed within weeks.  He currently has 20 days to appeal.

The grant will also help promote the mission of the SVO.  According to Dale A. Brown, SVO representative, that mission includes raising community awareness to veteran needs.

The SVO helps veterans on campus work toward their degrees by creating social activities that veterans can partake in together.
It also helps them network with other veterans and resources in the community available to them to promote their success.

They also address issues, either physical or psychological, that stand in the way of that success, and they also help with veterans’ social needs.

Every year the SVO hosts activities for veterans that include luncheons, socials, meetings and hiring representatives each month to talk about benefits that are available.

“Indiana will pay four-year college tuition to children of veterans,” Brown said. “Children of veterans are often not aware that they have benefits like these.”