Vets are looking for more than answers in college

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The University of Alabama at Birmingham is one of many schools across the country reaching out to student veterans. As more and more war veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan return home and take advantage of educational benefits, many are finding the transition is tough.

At UAB, people at the Office of Veterans Services work to help student veterans enroll in classes and get information on their benefits. A Veterans Affairs Certifying Official, Cynthia Scott, said the office is a "one stop shop for student veterans."

Scott said that in additional to academic challenges, many student veterans also face emotional challenges. "They talk about going to class and people being disruptive and talking and texting," said Scott, "They are not used to that. They are used to a structured environment."

Also, former Marine, Michael Rudulph, started the student organization of UAB Student Veterans of America. He said it was hard for him to transition from being a Marine to a student. He wants to help others.

"I found it very hard for me to find people to relate to," said Rudulph, "People to be friends with, and people I could talk to about my experiences."

Rudulph said the organization now consists of about 20 veterans, but he hopes it will continue to grow and eventually involve scholarships.

"It's very encouraging to see different veterans come together from all branches of service," said Rudulph, "People see the need that is out there for it."