The following story is part of The Globe’s back-to-school content for fall 2022.
After serving two years in Iraq as airborne infantry for the U.S. Army, Matthew Butcher undertook a new challenge when he decided to return to school.
Butcher knows the struggles of not only serving overseas but also returning home and starting from scratch. So, after completing his academic journey in Utah, Butcher sought a career that would help other veterans, and he now acts as the south region coordinator for Veterans Services at Salt Lake Community College.
“The school supports us, so it’s about returning the favor,” Butcher said.
Jennifer Brown, an Army veteran, also knows how difficult it can be for veterans to dive back into academics. Brown works with Veterans Services’ VITAL program, which provides mentorship to student veterans.
“Veterans Services provides support to veterans through a childcare program, disability services, a mental health clinic, FAFSA options and additional services,” she said.
Veterans Services helps returning students to become acclimated to on-campus life, a point that is important, Butcher said, since many veterans attending SLCC are older and have children.
Butcher added that because most of them enlisted right out of high school and are returning to school after many years, tutoring and help centers like SLCC’s Veterans Services work to motivate and provide a support network for veteran students in need.
Veterans Services also has specialists who can assist with handling tuition, FAFSA and to discuss VA benefits. Community members, too, can contact and connect with Veterans Services if they have a valid driver’s license and state residency.
Veterans Services has two in-person locations at the Taylorsville Redwood and South City campuses. For more information about Veterans Services and resources the group offers, visit their SLCC webpage.