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Plans Underway for Veterans Affinity Group

The Office of Military and Veteran Enrollment Services is in the process of starting a veterans affinity group at SLU for all employees who are military veterans.

Establishment of a list serve to send information about upcoming events on campus specific for veterans, like the Veterans Day lunch, is being developed.

Tommy Lucas, a graduate assistant and doctoral candidate, is spearheading much of the activity and occupies the Military and Veterans Enrollment Services Office in room 15 of DuBourg Hall.

As a part of this effort, they would create their own bylaws and structure the group as deemed necessary but would share similar values with the Student Veterans Association to create an environment that is military friendly, and to continue to serve as men and women for others.

Lucas said the purpose of the group is to meet the needs of veterans at SLU they way groups at major corporations have.

“It is not uncommon to see affinity groups form at large organizations like Ameren, Purina or InBev,” Lucas said.

Air Force veteran Yvonne McCool, a grants development specialist at the School of Nursing, highlighted some of the events already taking place at SLU.

“As a part of creating a military friendly culture, the Office of Military and Veteran Enrollment Services hosts a veterans' lunch from noon to 2 p.m. every Friday at the Billiken Grill in the Busch Student Center,” McCool said. ”All veterans are welcome to come and meet other veterans, and can bring your own lunch, or buy it there.”

In addition, McCool adds that they have been made aware of military personnel with SLU connections deploying for up to a year. In an effort to support these deployed service members, the group plans to work with H.E.R.O.E.S. Care to assemble and ship care packages.

“Lucas toured H.E.R.O.E.S. Care last week, and we have a list of items that can be shipped,”  McCool said. “We hope to take up a collection of items, cash for shipping and send care packages from SLU to our military deployed. Things are evolving and we want to be here to support our brothers and sisters who continue to serve us. When possible, we would like our deploying military to see SLU on the way out, feel the support of SLU while gone and see SLU when they return.

“As we are all members of the SLU community as well as the St. Louis metropolitan area, it would be great to show our support for soldiers and their families throughout their deployment from our community.”

If you are interested in supporting these efforts, register by filling out the online application. Employees are invited to share this information with anyone who may be interested.

McCool believes it is also important to identify family members of veterans and service members here at SLU so that they can include them in upcoming activities.

“Family is critical to our success when serving our country and we do not want to exclude their families,” McCool said. “The Google form allows interested members of the SLU community to indicate their desire, even if not a veteran.

For additional information, contact Yvonne McCool at or 314-977-8957. McCool served in the Air Force from 1981 through 1992. She was a personnel technician, and deployed to Korea in support of a joint exercise referred to as Team Spirit '85.