In mid-September, the Veterans Clinic proudly participated at the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) outreach event at Petco Park. The IAVA is one of the clinic’s partnering organizations, and the IAVA hosted this event for its members at the Padres game. The event included booths for a number of collaborating organizations to share information with the 500 IAVA participants in attendance.
Veterans Clinic Supervising Attorney Bob Muth and Legal Interns Graham Hilts and Harvey Zeytuntsyan attended, along with Law Clerk Kaitlin Diamond. “The Veterans Clinic’s outreach event at the Padre’s game provided us with an opportunity to meet with veterans and learn about their experiences both abroad and after returning home,” stated Legal Intern Graham Hilts. “In addition, we were able to provide information about the veterans’ GI Bill benefits and advice about the unique challenges that veterans should be aware of. We had such a successful interaction with the veterans at the Padre’s game, and with similar success at future outreach events, the Veterans Clinic is in a good position to make a serious impact on the lives of veterans.”
At the event, the IAVA welcomed members and gave away free tickets to the game; the Veterans Clinic distributed flyers about its services and answered questions for the attendees. “It was a great opportunity to meet some of the men and women at the IAVA who are working hard to reach out to veterans to help them make a successful transition to civilian life,” added Legal Intern Harvey Zeytuntsyan. “We briefly met with and listened to some of the leaders at the IAVA about the challenges they face in reaching out to the people who could benefit from the association. As a clinic, we had an opportunity to discuss some of the issues that veterans might face as they decide on how they will return to civilian life, including the decision to use their GI Bill to pursue an education and establish a career for themselves and the pitfalls they might face before and after making that decision.”
The IAVA is a nationally-based organization, and is the first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. With over 200,000 member veterans and supporters nationwide, IAVA’s programs empower the community online and offline, and include Smart Job Fairs and its signature New GI Bill calculator, as well as Community of Veterans, a veterans only social network. Representatives from its Executive Team, Matt Colvin and Jason Hansman, coordinated and attended the event.
“We are proud to have an ongoing collaboration with the IAVA on the Know Before You Enroll Campaign, which provides information for student veterans who are considering where they should use their GI Bill education benefits,” commented Professor Muth. “The website is a great resource and provides a number of questions for GI Bill beneficiaries to ask so they can make an informed decision when deciding where to apply and enroll. IAVA members tend to be younger veterans which is a main focus of our clinic, making this partnership particularly fruitful.”