College of the Desert held a Veterans Day ceremony and opened a veterans' center Thursday.
The ceremony was on the east lawn of the campus's Cravens Student Services Center at 43-500 Monterey Ave at 10 a.m. The Bighorn Golf Club Charities Veterans Resource Center, a full-service facility for veterans, was
funded by $150,000 from the charity.
History professor C. Douglass Kroll was scheduled to give a presentation and people were touring the center, spokesman Tim O'Bayley said.
The veterans' center features two offices, a reception desk, a study/tutoring area, four computer stations, a lounge area with a television and access to a printer, copier and fax machine.
The COD Foundation is working to raise $300,000 for a mental health specialist, academic and job placement counselor and other equipment and services, O'Bayley said.
"One of the primary issues facing combat veterans is the social isolation they feel when they return," said Jim Hummer, executive director of the COD Foundation.
"Many veterans have difficulty adjusting to civilian life, much less adjusting to the academic rigor and social atmosphere of an active college campus. Our resource center will provide a safe and welcoming environment for military veterans and their dependants to receive information about VA benefits, academic and counseling support, and peer to peer camaraderie."
COD has a Veterans Affairs Program. COD Veterans Services Coordinator Donni Prince said the number of veterans turning to the college for education, training and re-training has doubled in the last five years. More than 400 veterans are currently attending COD.