KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee Veterans Resource Center was working to stay open and support service members, even as the university closed to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
Now, as the end of the semester approaches and summer starts, the Veterans Resource Center announced that it is moving online. Staff members at the center, a team of three people, said they will continue supporting around 500 student veterans, giving them a home away from home.
“When you are active duty, everything is in person; a lot of veterans don’t operate in a virtual setting,” Thomas Cruise, a coordinator at the center, said in a press release. “This is an extremely resilient population. But they need reassurance, too.”
Cruise sent personal emails to each student at the center, so they would be aware of the changes and to tell them that the center would still be there for answers to any of their questions.
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If students didn't follow up on the emails, the staff reached out to them to make sure they were doing okay. They also spent hours answering questions on calls with students and through emails.
“Student veterans want it straight and honest—no fluff, don’t beat around the bush,” Cruise said in a press release.
As the spring semester ends, 19 new student veterans will be welcomed into the university over the summer. Then, university officials said they expect 90 more students in the following fall semester.