Group Spotlight: Veterans Resource Center


Photo credit/ Elizabeth Adams

The Veterans Resource Center is located on North Washington Ave. behind the Performing Arts Center.

As the Director of Military and Veterans Services, Raul Santana Nuñez is passionate about doing everything he can to help others, especially fellow service members. For the past eight years, the Veterans Resource Center (VRC) has done just that.

Prior to the opening of the center, the building was named Bethany Hall and served as a residence hall for Marywood students. However, in 2014, the space was renovated and the Veterans Resource Center was established.

This semester, Nuñez is determined to spread the word about the center and welcomes students to visit for more information. The center is one of Marywood’s more distant buildings, located behind the Sette LaVerghetta Center for Performing Arts.

“I will say that it is a little removed from campus so not a lot of folks know where it is, but that’s what I’m here for. I try to advertise it to everyone I can,” said Santana Nuñez.

The Veterans Resource Center assists service members and their families in receiving tuition assistance, professional development opportunities, and mental health resources. The center also sends students to conferences around the country and has an honor society called “Salute”.

The Veterans Resource Center is determined to create a warm and welcoming environment for everyone in the Marywood community.

“No man or woman is an island, and we are here at the VRC to support any student veteran or dependent anytime they may need us,” said SGAStudent Veterans Affairs representative Jeffrey Behnke.

One way that the Veterans Resource Center is making its mark on campus is through its community events like its Stop 22 walk and the Flags for the Fallen service. In the Spring of 2022, the center hosted, in collaboration with the Scranton community, a 22-mile walk for veteran suicide awareness and prevention. The center hopes to make this event an annual occurrence but this coming spring the event will be hosted solely by Marywood.

In addition to Stop 22, the center also hosted its Flags for the Fallen Service, on Thursday, Nov. 10, the day before Veterans Day, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The field next to the center was covered in thousands of flags to represent the lives of fallen first responders and service members.

“It’s a piece of history that is very near and dear to a lot of us who may be older but it might be lost in the younger generations; we don’t want to let go of that tradition,” explains Nuñez.

The service lasted around 30 minutes and all Marywood students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the Scranton community, were welcome to attend and visit the center. This event was a great opportunity for students to learn more about the center and the work that they are doing.

The Veterans Resource Center’s main priority is to make sure the Marywood community is as inclusive and connected as possible,

“My goal is to make sure that we are all connected and that we are all learning a little bit about each other in the best way possible. It doesn’t matter what path of life you are in, we keep you in mind. At the end of the day, the closer we get to understand each other, the better it is, and I welcome everybody to come,” said Nuñez.

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