Club Corner

Veterans club meets weekly 

How did the club get started?  

The original club was founded in the late 1960s by returning veterans – many with service in southwest Asia, including Vietnam. In 1970, the United States began to draw down its involvement in the Vietnam War and the Army – with tens of thousands of soldiers effectively “marking time” by serving KP duty or other busy work – began offering 90-150 day “early out” options. These programs allow soldiers to leave active duty early if they were enrolled in a post-secondary institution (like Kirkwood). Given the fact, many of these soldiers were drafted in the first place, these “short-timers” leapt at the chance to leave the Army early. The VA funded programs aimed to help veterans earn a high school equivalency diploma. These initiatives (among others) resulted in a surge of military veterans at colleges around the country and Kirkwood was no exception.   

What is the purpose of the club?   

The organization’s immediate goal is to complete requirements to get official recognition by the college. We will accomplish this by completing the required forms and decide a framework of how the club will operate – not the most exciting stuff –  but once that’s finalized, then the club can lay out the start planning and coordinating the fun stuff – like social activities, networking events, athletic competitions, leadership retreats/trips and more.   

What are the benefits of joining? 

Professional networking, fellowship, inter-mural athletic activities, giving back to the community through service projects, leadership development, travel to other student-veterans conferences are just some of the benefits of joining. Potential benefits are limited only by the time and effort members and officers of the club chose to commit. This group can be as ambitious or as laid back as the members decide. From federal and state government levels, to the local community and even within Kirkwood, there are a tremendous amount of resources devoted to helping veterans (and their family members) succeed not just at the post-secondary education level, but in all aspects of their lives. While attempts are made to reduce barriers to access, often times there’s a huge information gap of what’s available and the qualifications/requirements. This is often a “You don’t know, what you don’t know” problem. One possible objective of this student-led organization could be to bring in local experts from these different areas (like VA Compensation, health care, veterans employment services) to inform the military-connected community about these resources so they can fully utilize. 

When and where do you meet?  

Right now, we meet in Kirkwood’s Military-connected Lounge, Room 2004, Iowa Hall, on the main campus, during the Thursday Student activity hour (11:15 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.). Ramona Taylor, Kirkwood’s Veterans Services Coordinator, will send out an email invitation to the Kirkwood military-connected and interested student population with the specific dates. 

What do meetings consist of?  

No one likes meetings. No one. So I hope to assist the club to keep the number and length of meetings to the bare minimum. With everyone’s time being at premium, meetings should be used to vote on the organization’s direction and communicate specific details of upcoming events. 

Who is part of the leadership?  

Currently, we’re looking for student-veterans interested in serving on the pro-tempore committee to get the organization off the ground. Participation in this committee is really straight forward and I don’t foresee there being a huge time commitment.   

How can students join?

Interested individual can reach out to Kirkwood’s veteran’s office, by emailing 

Is there anything else you would like to add?  

I expect this club will have a large “umbrella” so if you’re interested but concerned you aren’t eligible or won’t “fit in,” no worries! Whether you’re a veteran, still on active duty, in the reserves or National Guard, a family member of one of these, or just some who supports the military community, there’s a place for you in this organization. Even if you’re “at capacity,” can’t make meetings or events, or even graduate in two months, sign up for the club. Not only will we will share any information, you’re laying the groundwork of success for student-veterans that follow. This organization is going to be something special and we need everyone to play a roll. Come join us! 

Information submitted by Andrew Callahan, club advisor