By Mackenzie Davis
Patrick Coleman, Director of the Veterans Center, strives to offer veteran-students opportunities to relax through programs like the upcoming Yoga in the Center event scheduled for Feb. 8, from 6-7 p.m.
Through these events, happening at the Veterans Center office on floor G2, Coleman talks of the benefits an hour session of relaxation can have on students, “…one is connectivity with other student veterans, two is the releasing of the stressors and three being able to connect with yourself,” Coleman said.
These events are not the only resources the center offers. Coleman has created a safe space for veterans to feel a sense of community within the college. This includes being able to come in, talk and be heard by people with similar experiences, grabbing snacks or coffee in between classes and receiving help from Kent County Veteran Services. Within the vast amount of opportunities this department offers, the most important is the sense of comfort and acceptance this center has created, “…I compare my stories to theirs and how I got over it, how I got past it and I help them do the same thing,” Coleman said. “…they may not trust instructors…but another vet to another vet…that’s the best trust you can really get.”
The department tries to schedule yoga events each month for its veteran students in hopes that they will be able to attend. Along with the long-term benefits, Coleman talks of the short-term benefits he witnessed in his last event.
“The last yoga we had, we had two vets and they walked away well stretched and were able to let go of what they were dealing with at that moment,” Coleman said. “…They were able to let go of that…and when they pick it back up, they can handle it a little different. They know how to really deal with it.”
Other events happening this month in the Veteran Center include family yoga night at 6 p.m. Feb. 16, Game Night- “Jack Box” from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 21, tutoring in the center from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Feb. 20, Movie Night- “WindTalkers” at 5 p.m. Feb. 22, and student advisors in the Veteran Center from 3 – 5 p.m. Feb. 23.