Clubs and Organizations Rotarians learn of center for veterans The Vermillion Rotary Club held its weekly luncheon meeting on Tuesday, June 24, at the Neuharth Center on the USD campus. President David Hussey opened the meeting. He also gave the invocation. This was followed by a round of singing, announcements, and introduction of guests. Rotarian Barry Vickrey introduced Jathon Chicoine as the speaker for the day. Mr. Chicoine was a Navy SEAL and is a graduate of USD. He is currently the executive director of the Veterans Resource Center located at 840 E. Cherry St. here in Vermillion. He stated that the main goal of the center is "learning to return services to those who have served us". The Veterans Resource Center is a non-profit institution. He asked that Rotarians spread the word about the resource center. He outlined some of the guiding principles of the Veterans Resource Center. Among those are: provide and maintain a safe environment for veterans to connect and share with one another; and to recognize our ability to learn, grow, change, and adapt as the only way we can positively impact veterans. The transition back to civilian life is not always a smooth one. This transition can be very challenging. The first full-time response to the needs of returning veterans began at USD about four years ago. The Veterans Resource Center here in Vermillion was started and maintained by in-kind services and donations from the community and local businesses. He reminded us that between 1.3 and 1.5 million returning veterans have come into the higher education system since the start of the Afghan war. He also told us that individual veterans come from many different ethnic groups and situations. They also come with their individual experiences in the various military services. The Veterans Resource Center has moved away from the more traditional human services model to more individual assistance including establishing circles of support. The idea is to provide a place where information about support services can be consolidated, and to provide a place where veterans can connect with each other. A large part of what the Center is about is to validate the service to society that the veterans have provided. The biggest difference is that the Veterans Resource Center is a veteranâ�?�?s community center. They feel that one of their main tasks is to pull all the support organizations and the veterans together. Mr. Chicoine can be contacted at the Veterans Resource Center at 840 E. Cherry St., or by telephone: 605-624-4934.
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