Federal grant of $1.3 million to help OTC guide veterans through higher ed

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Transitioning to life after time spent in the U.S. Armed Services can be difficult for our veterans. Now there is a new effort underway to help make is easier for them to find new opportunities, and it all starts with a college degree.

"One of the difficult things is that the skills that the military gives us don't always transfer over onto the civilian side as well as they tell us that it will, so a lot of us have to end up starting over entirely," said US Army Veteran Doug Carrell.

Starting over after seven years of service was not easy for Carrell or the thousands of others like him. Now a $1.3 million dollar grant will provide five years of services for area veterans at Ozarks Technical Community College.

"Our goal is to fill the gap for these veterans with career counseling, academic advising, and making a plan for them," said Joan Barrett of OTC.

The new program is designed to help veterans navigate higher education and get the benefits they have earned. OTC is just one institution where they can get their coursework completed.

"It's a big help, because there are a number of different GI bills to choose from. They're pretty complicated as far as how they work, how the eligibility works, how the payouts work," Carrell said.

The grant came from the Department of Education, and it should take effect as early as march of this coming year.

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.