Michelle Mann

One of the great things about being in media is the opportunity to learn so much about so many great things in our community.

Journalists are charged with reporting events as they happen—just the facts. (A charge, admittedly, that some journalists take more seriously than others but that is another story for another day.)

There are some events, however, that I have the opportunity to cover that warrant more than “just the facts” and the new “Coffee with a Veteran” event is one of them.

Attending the first early morning “Coffee with a Veteran” at Enterprise State Community College, I was impressed.

Attending the second such event, I was even more impressed.

“We are privileged to serve those who have served,” is the way that ESCC President Matt Rodgers welcomed the veterans, family members and veteran service providers to each of the two events so far.

The plan is to hold the free veteran-focused event on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 a.m. The next one will be held at the ESCC Aviation College Campus in Ozark.

We are blessed that there are many veterans support organizations in our area and ESCC is an active member of that list.

A new student organization comprised of military veteran students and a Veterans Resource Center are among the veteran-focused ESCC programs designed to facilitate camaraderie with fellow veterans facing the same challenges.

Many veterans—regardless of their years of service—never have had a job other than the military or they never had to apply for a job. Many are aware that they have earned educational benefits but are not sure how to actually obtain those benefits.

For those combat-tested veterans who served their country—and for those of us who love them—it is no secret that finding a job in the civilian world can be frustrating. There is sometimes a perception barrier between “boots on the ground” military experience and what civilian employers say they are seeking.

With thousands of combat-tested veterans returning stateside to unemployment or underemployment, ESCC is making a difference in our corner of South Alabama putting their money where their mouth is by providing resources to assist veterans with finding educational opportunities so they can be competitive in the job market.

Kudos to the men and women at ESCC who are going the extra mile to make the words “serving those who serve” more than a motto.

Michelle Mann is a staff writer for The Southeast Sun and Daleville Sun-Courier. The opinions of this writer are her own and not the opinion of the paper. She can be reached at (334) 393-2969 or by email at mmann@southeastsun.com.

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