Jodie Hartman joins Saint Martin’s Veteran’s Center

Emmanuel Son, Staff Writer

Jodie Hartman joins the Veteran’s Center as new Vet. Corps Coordinator. Photo courtesy of SMU Campus Life

The Veteran’s Center at Saint Martin’s University has welcomed Jodie Hartman to be their new Vet. Corps Coordinator. Hartman has previously worked on campus as an ambassador with the admissions office. The Veterans’ Center is a service at Saint Martin’s University run through the AmeriCorps organization. The job of the coordinator is to assist the veteran students at Saint Martin’s and advocate for the needs of veteran students as well as military affiliated students and faculty.

Hartman will also be a part of the Saint Martin’s Veteran committee to help give a voice to the veteran student body. She plans to have her door open and always be an aid to veterans, by answering questions, providing support, and giving out information relevant to that school demographic aimed at helping with the Veteran Affairs (VA) or issues that are military related. 

“I plan to bridge the gap between the veteran community and the campus community,” Hartman shared. Information is also offered regarding the G.I. Bill or the vocational rehabilitation program, which several veterans use to pay for their tuition. The Veterans Center offers brochures and pamphlets of information to local resources, such as sources for mental health and wellness, the crisis hotline, and volunteer opportunities. 

A major affiliation that the center has is with the Lacey Veterans Service Hub. Hartman says that they are a good local resource for veterans to walk in and get started on VA disability benefits. They can also be a good source for housing and work support, as well as for surrounding veteran communities. 

Many veterans or those finishing up military service often question if they should go back to school. Hartman understands that it can be an overwhelming practice going straight to higher education right after finishing up active duty service. It can take a while to get readjusted into civilian life and figure out your next move. She advises that having a plan before getting out of active duty is really important because when you go back to civilian life, you will most likely be on your own with resources and support than in comparison to when you were on active duty. 

“Having plans and plan B to see what is best for you because college is not for every career, so it depends on what someone really wants to do and find their passion if they have one,” Hartman said.

Veterans who have an honorable discharge and have served 30 days of active duty service are eligible for some benefits. Those who have served their obligated contract get up to four years’ worth of college tuition with their G.I. bill. Those with disability ratings through the Veteran Affairs can use the vocational rehabilitation program which can lead them to be covered for higher education. The program helps veterans find a career path that can work around their disabilities and will not hinder or cause barriers. If a veteran does not choose to use the VA school benefits, they can transfer them to a family member such as a spouse or child. 

Saint Martin’s is a Yellow Ribbon affiliated university. The Yellow Ribbon Program can match or pay what is not covered by the G.I. bill. Because the VA has a monetary cap, the Yellow Ribbon program can pay for the rest of that tuition used by the veteran or the G.I. bill holder. 

Other goals that Hartman says she has as the new coordinator is to “bring more of a community of the veterans and military affiliated students and have more things to do with each other like to mingle more with each other.” She hopes that even with COVID-19 restrictions, there will be an availability of activities that benefit the military community at Saint Martin’s to stay connected by collaborating with campus life, Associated Students of Saint Martin’s University (ASSMU), and other groups that are very well established on campus in order to be more involved.

Hartman’s office is located at the Veteran’s Center at Harned Hall 211, open Monday to Friday from 8:00 A.M.- 8:00 P.M. 

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