Supporting and Honoring our Student Veterans

Teri Bartlow veteran story

Veterans Day is a day to honor all veterans for their service to our country, both in war and in peace. At LBCC, we recognize the sacrifice of those who have served in the military, and are honored to assist our student veterans through a variety of support services on campus. 

More than 340 student veterans are enrolled in classes at LBCC – studying everything from business, engineering and computer science, to welding, heavy equipment and automotive repair, to transfer degrees and more.

According to the Postsecondary National Policy Institute, the average age of a student veteran is 25, with the majority being between the ages of 24 to 40. Fifty-four percent of student veterans were enrolled in associate degree or certificate programs in 2015, and 38 percent were enrolled in community colleges. 

Tom PoirierAt the age of 47, Tom Poirier is one of those student veterans. Tom served as a firefighter in the US Navy from 1990 to 1993 aboard the USS Tortuga out of Virginia Beach, Virginia. After his medical discharge, Tom held a variety of jobs through the years, including shuttle driver, custodian, pharmacy technician, security guard, construction worker – he even spent a few years driving for a porta-potty company. Whatever it took to pay the bills, he says. 

"There’s a real strong camaraderie that goes on between student veterans on campus."
Tom Poirier

As an older-than-average student, Tom is excited to pursue his interest in religious studies and start a new career in ministry work, something he has always been passionate about. The religious studies program at LBCC is providing a good foundation, says Tom. He plans to transfer to Corbin University next fall to continue his studies. As a veteran, one of the most important things to Tom was connecting with other veterans on campus. LBCC’s Veterans Resource Center (VRC) provided that connection. 

The VRC provides student vets with a quiet place to study, and the use of computers, refrigerator, microwave and lockers. Last spring, Tom served as the VRC coordinator, making sure veterans knew what resources were available to them on campus, such as mental health support or resources to help pay a bill. “Having that kind of support from your peers is phenomenal,” says Tom. “There’s a real strong camaraderie that goes on between student veterans on campus.” 

Tom currently works in LBCC’s Center for Accessibility Resources (CFAR), where he again serves as a liaison for student vets. “There’s a bit of a stigma around CFAR with veterans, in that they may not see their issues as fitting into what we may think of as a disability. But CFAR also helps students who are experiencing things like test anxiety or PTSD. I’m working to help break that stigma and start servicing more of our veterans through CFAR."

Teri Bartlow
LBCC student veteran Teri Bartlow stands beside the Veterans Day display in the college Library. The display was created by LBCC student and Veteran Resource Center liaison Nicholas Rudolph.
 
 

Student veteran Teri Bartlow is in her second year at LBCC. A graduate of Philomath High School, Teri joined ROTC, which allowed her to enter the Army as an officer. She served as an Army Personnel Officer from May 2013 to October 2017 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. 

While in the service, Teri earned her bachelor’s degree in Global Security and Intelligence Studies from Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University. After her medical discharge from the Army, she decided to change her career focus to nursing. She is now completing prerequisite science courses at LBCC, and plans to transfer at the end of spring term to pursue an accelerated nursing degree at Oregon Health Sciences University. 


“One of the most important things for me was discovering the Veterans Resource Center. It just felt like community to me,” she said. “They offer help with things like navigating the GI Bill and applying for scholarships. It’s a great resource for student veterans – and I encourage other veterans to go check it out.” 

It’s also important that veterans connect with their advisor or instructors and let them know of their veteran status, says Teri. “There are a lot of resources out there, and they can help student vets make those connections.” 

Veteran Support Services at LBCC 

LBCC offers a variety of support services on campus for our student veterans, designed specifically around their unique needs. Services include: 

Veterans Education Benefits office: Located in Takena Hall at the Financial Aid office, this office assists veterans and eligible family members with navigating financial aid benefits to attend college. Contact: Justin Curtis, curtisj@linnbenton.edu

LBCC Veterans Scholarship: Vietnam Veterans of America, Mid-Valley Chapter 585 created a scholarship fund through the LBCC Foundation that is focused on helping student veterans and family members of veterans. Established in 2000, the Linn County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Scholarship Endowment has provided more than $17,000 in scholarships to LBCC student vets and their family members. Contact the LBCC Foundation: foundation@linnbenton.edu

Student Veterans Club: The Vets Club meets monthly, with a focus on providing community and support to help our veterans adjust to college life. LBCC Mechatronics instructor Ken Dickson-Self is the club advisor. Contact: dicksok@linnbenton.edu

Student Veterans Center (VRC): LBCC student vets have a dedicated meeting and study space exclusively for vets on the Albany campus. Located in the Forum building, room F-109, the Veterans Center is a safe, friendly space for vets to study, hang out, and connect with other veterans and veteran advocates. 

LBCC Center for Accessibility Resources (CFAR): Located in Red Cedar Hall, CFAR coordinates disability accommodations for disabled student veterans. Carol Raymundo, CFAR manager, is highly trained in understanding unique situations facing veterans including PTSD, TBI and other impacts. Contact: cfar@linnbenton.edu

The top five majors for LBCC student veterans are: (Associate of Science (AS); Associate of Applied Science (AAS)

  • Engineering (AS)
  • Business Administration (AS)
  • Welding (AAS)
  • AAOT (Oregon Transfer)
  • Computer Science (AS)

The top six degrees earned by LBCC student veterans from 2015/16 to 2018/19 were:

  • AAOT (Oregon Transfer)
  • Welding (AAS)
  • AGS (Associate, General Studies)
  • Heavy Equipment (AAS)
  • Business Administration (AS)
  • Water, Environment & Technology (AAS)

LBCC Contact List for Veterans