EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU)— How service in the armed forces is helping boost the college experience and how one university is helping those soldiers get the most out of their degree.

College student Mason Harmon has a busy schedule working on a degree in the diesel and heavy equipment automotive program, but he’s also in the military serving in the Kansas Army National Guard.

It helps pay for college, but a big benefit is the veteran’s resource lounge set aside exclusively for veterans and current service members. Mason says he’s here nearly every school day.

“I like to come here for my class, do some homework, study, prepare myself for the day,” said Harmon.

It gives him access to computers and a free printer. There’s even a small kitchen and information posted specifically for veterans. The center gives students with similar experiences a chance to interact, or enjoy time away from a busy campus.

“Most times I see three people in there at most. I know most of them are veterans so I have great conversations in here,” added Harmon.

The center was recently expanded with a $10,000 grant. Money well spent, according to college officials.

“Look what they gave up for us. So we want to do what we can for them. I have a tiny budget, but I’m willing to spend it on them,” continued Robin Stricklin, a PSU certifying officer.

“I’m very proud of the university for doing something like this and I hope more campuses follow this path,” said Sticklin.

Penn State opened a student veterans center on its main campus in 2019.

If you have a story idea for Veterans’ Voices, send an email to Nick Toma at, ntoma@pahomepage.com.