June 23, 2024

CSM Veterans Lounge Gets Facelift

Veterans Lounge

US Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, center, is pictured with student veterans, clockwise from right, Adrian Brown; Bill Buffington, vice president of the CSM Veterans Organization; Zoila Vidal; and Bettie Phillips-Jackson, secretary/treasurer of the veterans group at the Veterans Lounge at College of Southern Maryland’s La Plata campus.

Hoyer Visits, Gets Tour

College of Southern Maryland has created a space for student veterans to relax, study, and be with their peers on the La Plata campus, and US Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) recently visited the campus to check it out. The Veterans Lounge includes computers, work tables, a projector and podium for lectures, and a comfortable seating area to give students a place to connect with fellow military veterans, study, gather, and support each other.

Besides the visit by the congressman on July 21, 2016, the lounge, which opened in November 2015, will be getting a facelift thanks to donations from the Student Veterans of American and The Home Depot Foundation, which awarded CSM $9,122 through the Vet Center Initiative. The initiative was created to help student groups with refurbishing, rebuilding, or renovating resource centers that are provided on college campuses. The money will provide renovations that will take place over the next few weeks.

“This is wonderful,” Congressman Hoyer said of the lounge. He asked the veterans who were present if they had used the facility. “What value do you get out of this particular room?” Hoyer asked, describing the lounge as a “refuge” for vets on campus.

Zoila Vidal, a U.S. Army veteran who graduated from the college in May, said, “To me personally, it’s like family. Nobody understands a veteran like a veteran. When I come out of my classes, after watching the young folks, I just go here, and we just sit down and talk about any topic. It’s so intimate. … It’s my second home.”

As he toured the lounge, Congressman Hoyer complimented it and thanked the veterans for their service. “The work that this school is doing is just absolutely life-changing for so many people, giving them such opportunities, and thank you for pushing because we all need a push, right? We all need someone to say, ‘You can do better.’ … We all get down, we all get discouraged and we all need people to pick us up, and what this room does is lift everyone up,” he said.

For information about veteran and military support services at CSM, visit here.

For more about the College of Southern Maryland, visit their Leader member page.

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