Serving Those Who Have Served
Since 2012, the Veteran Resource & Support Center has been the cornerstone for holistic student veteran success.
- By Mamie Hertel '24
- Oct. 19, 20224 min read
With roots as a senior military college, Texas A&M University has always had a deep respect for our nation’s current and former service members. At the Don & Ellie Knauss Veteran Resource & Support Center (VRSC), student veterans receive unparalleled campus and community resources to achieve holistic success as Aggies.
“The VRSC provides a tremendous number of resources for the student veteran community,” said VRSC Director Col. Jerry Smith ’82, USMC (Ret.). “But I think veterans feel most connected here because the Aggie core values—similar to military values—resonate profoundly with them.” With a steadfast commitment to raising awareness and promoting student veteran success, the VRSC makes Texas A&M a standout community for veterans to transition to student life.
After borrowing textbooks from Aggie Shields during my first semester, I saw my opportunity to serve student veterans. I joined because I wanted to help veterans like myself and serve the community that has served me.”
- Robert Liu ’23, USMC, Aggie Shields Member
Founded in 2014 as a lending library with around 100 textbooks, Aggie Shields now offers more than 6,000 textbooks for student veterans. In addition to students donating old textbooks, the organization purchases new ones that student veterans can borrow for free, saving veterans more than $700,000. To help alleviate the burden of textbook costs for student veterans, you can give to Aggie Shields.
The Student Veteran Leadership Development program will help veterans use their military strengths and leadership on campus. We want to engage more veteran leaders and maximize their potential to continue their service in a civilian capacity in our state, nation and world.”
- Col. Jerry Smith ’82, USMC (Ret.), VRSC Director
As the VRSC’s newest program, the Student Veteran Leadership Development program provides resources to help student veterans transition to Texas A&M and professional development opportunities to enhance their personal strengths and leadership skills. Through this program, student veteran leaders significantly increase peer engagement and develop into effective leaders in Aggieland and beyond. A gift of $25 or more to the program can help student veterans realize and develop their leadership potential.
VALOR is a group of veterans who have a heart for serving other veterans. We listen closely to the needs of fellow student veterans and advocate for resources on behalf of our community.”
- David Haney ’23, Army, VALOR² Veteran Advocate
Veteran Aggie Leaders for Outreach, Research and Resources (VALOR²) is a peer-led outreach program that fosters transitional success through the assessment and alignment of critical resource needs by certified veteran peer-leaders. These leaders directly engage student veterans through focus groups, interviews and panels to discover their needs, desires and concerns and provide personal connections to relevant resources. To support the work that VALOR² undertakes in making student veterans’ time in Aggieland a fulfilling experience, you can give online.
We are creating an environment where student veterans feel comfortable. Our SVA chapter strives to set the example for other universities to serve student veterans exceptionally well.”
- Cory Griswold ’24, USAF, Student Veterans of America Texas A&M Chapter President
The Student Veterans of America (SVA) Texas A&M chapter helps current and former U.S. armed forces members and their families transition into the Aggie community. Recently, SVA secured priority registration for student veterans to help ease the difficulties of scheduling classes around family and work priorities. This school year, the group is partnering with the Texas A&M Student Government Association to waive application fees for veterans applying to Texas A&M. You can contribute to SVA’s efforts in representing the voices of student veterans with a gift of $25 or more.
Serve Those Who Have Served: To learn more about the VRSC and how you can support student veterans at Texas A&M, contact David Bacot '90.