Campus welcomes Veterans Association

The Southeastern Student Veterans Association recently held their first official meeting to discuss how the group will operate on campus, specifically the group’s purpose, membership, finances and possible future programs.

The association began with senior general studies major Mark Lawrence and sophomore criminal justice major Cal Broussard. Lawrence has served in the United States Army, Louisiana National Guard and Air Force reserve, but was never deployed. Broussard has served in the Army, Navy and  as a Marine and has toured in countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia.     

“At the Senior Colloquium, Dr. Procopio and Dr. Narro thanked me for my service and placed an American flag sticker on my chest,” said Lawrence. “From that moment on, I wanted people, not just veterans, to feel that appreciation too.” According to Lawrence, the association will mentor veteran students as well as support those still in the service.

The advisor of the Student Veteran Association is Rene Abadie, is also is the director of the Office of Public Information and a U.S. Army veteran. Abadie served from 1969 to 1971 as a public information specialist at Fort Polk in Louisiana.

While the organization is still in its infancy, approximately 65 students and faculty have joined. One of these students is Joe Constant, a senior history major and U.S. Army soldier. Constant spent five years on active duty and four years in the National Guard. He has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan and has been stationed in South Korea.

A meeting over the summer has been planned to finalize the constitution, and interim officers have already been appointed until an election will be held in the Fall.

“For a lot of veterans, especially those that have never been to school before, this group will be a great guide,” said Constant. “Many guys who come to school after duty have no idea what to do.”