OCEAN COUNTY – Veterans attending classes at Ocean County College (OCC) are now able to access the programs and services of the Ocean County Veterans Services Bureau without leaving the college campus.
Ocean County Board of Commissioners Deputy Director Gary Quinn, liaison to the Ocean County Veterans Service Bureau said, “often veterans that are attending college are also working, giving them little time to access the services that are available to them.”
“By having a veterans’ service officer right on campus, our veterans can tap into programs that may be available to them in a more convenient way. This on-campus satellite office is all part of the ongoing outreach of our veterans’ service bureau,” he added.
The Ocean County Veterans Service Bureau established a partnership with the Ocean County Veteran and Military Resource Center, which provides services to students attending OCC and also Kean University, located on the same campus off of Hooper Avenue, Toms River.
A veterans’ service officer will be onsite at the college from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Mondays, starting March 20 at the Veteran and Military Resource Center, Room 221 in the Jon and Judith Larson Center on the campus.
Around 250 veterans attend classes at OCC and Kean, officials said. Representatives from both the Ocean County Veterans Service Bureau and the college’s Military and Veteran Resource Center Office Director recently met with OCC leadership to develop a partnership and learn what services would be beneficial to their military/veteran student population.
Quinn added, “Ocean County has the largest veteran population in the state. Our Veterans Service Bureau, with offices in Toms River and Manahawkin, assists veterans and their dependents applying for Military and VA benefits that they are entitled to receive and is considered one of the most effective veterans’ service offices in the state.”
The Veterans Service Bureau will now assign an accredited Veterans Service Officer to the Veteran and Military Resource Center this month.
“This will provide OCC and Kean students with an opportunity to meet with a representative to learn what benefits are available to them, address any concerns they might have, and allow them to apply for VA Healthcare, Compensation and other benefits,” Quinn said.
He added, “I want to commend the staff at our Veterans Service Bureau for their ongoing dedication to reach the many veterans that live in Ocean County and assist whenever they can. We look forward to a strong, lasting and meaningful relationship with Ocean County Community College/Kean University and its veteran student population.”
Ocean County Board of Commissioners Director Joseph H. Vicari noted the importance of strong partnerships like this that result in beneficial assistance to Ocean County’s veterans. “It’s by working together that we can make the greatest difference in the lives of our veterans.”
To learn more visit co.ocean.nj.us/oc/veterans/ or call 732-929-2096 and for additional information on the Ocean County Community College Veteran and Military Resource Center, visit ocean.edu/student-services/veteran.