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Event geared toward veterans assistance

For the first time, USF will partner with the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital’s Mobile Outreach Clinic (MOC) to host three health fair expos on campus that will provide free service and benefits to veterans.

The MOC, a bus equipped with medical gear, is considered part of the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital located on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard.

“The (hospital) is making a concerted effort to reach out to their veterans and to make sure that they are receiving the benefits that they’re entitled to,” said Jeanine Frederick, a counselor for the off-campus VetSuccess outreach program. “We want to make it a one-stop shop to help educate them.”

The outreach events will take place today, Sept. 29 and Oct. 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. outside of the north entrance of the Marshall Student Center.

“We’ll be offering services like enrollment for veterans and VA education, adaptive sports, vocational rehabilitation, general health screenings and, also, the Community Outreach and Support for Homeless Veterans will be there,” said Juan Rivera of the USF Office of Veterans Services.

Faculty and students who are veterans or on active duty can sign up for the adaptive sports, which are accessible to people that have physical disabilities, Rivera said.

USF will work closely with the veteran’s hospital, which will provide resources like mental health specialists, and will use the MOC for the event.

Student organizations can sign up for the Veterans Week Chili Cook-Off, which will be held on Nov. 9 in the Student Services breezeway.

“The idea is to promote veterans awareness and build a competitive camaraderie among the organizations, and we hope it will become an annual event,” Rivera said. “The idea is that we are bringing this service to campus so that students can come between classes or meetings and become aware of their benefits. Some of them do not even know they exist, and they come and talk to us.”

Frederick said they are looking forward to the upcoming events.

“We really want USF to have that reputation of being one of the most-veteran friendly schools and campuses,” he said.