Tech receives praise for veteran assistance

Tennessee Tech is the first school to be named as a “VETS (Veterans Education Transition Support) campus” by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

Tech administers orientation programs for veterans, facilitates support programs, provides potential program credit for skills and provides a campus survey to help identify the needs, issues and suggestions of veteran students.

“It would help to have a greater understanding of military culture and the discipline they go through. I think it's important that faculty, advisers and staff know what to expect and how the vets sometimes deal with things,” said Kevin Flanary, director of military and veteran affairs. “You have these 18-year-old kids playing on their cellphones and whining during class, and (the vets) just got back from living in a tent for a year. That can be pretty frustrating to them.”

Flanary plans to establish a center for veterans on campus where they can relax, study and receive information about academic benefits.

“We just want the vets to feel like family when they come here and know that they're taken care of,” said Flanary. “I've made that transition, too, from combat to classroom. I used my GI Bill. I understand both sides of it and the issues they face. I think it just helps to build bonds early with the vets in their process of coming to Tech.”

According to the U.S. News and World Report, Tech is on the 2015 list for the top 10 universities in the south for veterans. Military Advanced Education awarded Tech “Top School” for three consecutive years and Victory Media reported Tech as being a “Military Friendly” school for three consecutive years.

“We are reaching out and really trying to help with their transition,” said Flanary. “I think it'll really help with recruiting.”

For additional information on veteran’s benefits, email Dean of Student Activities Mark Ochsenbein at