FORT MOORE, Ga. (WRBL)— As the nation prepares to pause and honor our local heroes this upcoming Veteran’s Day, Columbus State University (CSU) and Columbus Technical College (CTC) joined together Tuesday to honor military spouses.
The event created an environment for representatives from each institution to talk one-on-one with spouses on the opportunities, benefits, and programs available to them.
“We know at Columbus State that military spouses have such a large role in managing their family and assisting their spouses, the service member,” Susan Lovell, Director of Military Connected Student Services with CSU told WRBL. “And so, we want to make sure that they know that there’s opportunities for them, even though they may only be at Fort Moore for a short period of time.
Lovell spent the morning telling spouses how to use their veteran education benefits, access tuition assistance, apply for FAFSA, introduced them to several bachelor’s degrees, and certificate programs like the one-year cybersecurity Nexus certificate program. CSU provides services to more than 1,200 military connected students. Meanwhile, 56% of Columbus Technical College’s student population is made up of either active duty, military spouses, or dependent children. Both institutions working to tailor programs to the Chattahoochee Valley’s military community.
“One of the programs that we just introduced is the Paralegal Fundamentals Certificate. That program can be completed in one semester, so 15 weeks,” Tamara Hicks, Student Affairs Coordinator for Fort Moore with CTC said. “That’s just one of the certificates that we have, that military spouses can take advantage of, whether they’re going to be here for six months, whether they’re going to be here for a year or two.”
Applications are also open for CTC’s new commercial truck driving licensing program that sits right outside the gates of Fort Moore, marketed towards exiting service members and spouses.
For military spouses, life is full of frequent deployments, changes in stations, and constant readjustment. Fort Moore is Tutt McCracken’s ninth duty station; she says she wished she learned about these programs when she first arrived two years ago.
“I’ve been in past posts where the communities there do support the military, but this is the first one where they’ve come on post and they haven’t just reached out to the soldiers, but they’re reaching out to the spouses and that shows really good initiative,” McCracken said. “That’s not something that I’ve felt before as a spouse. They always talk about the MyCAA, which is great. My husband, I’ve never qualified for that because of him. So, it never applied to me. I couldn’t do anything with it. But what they offer applies to even me with my husband’s higher rank. I can use these things; I can do it. So, it’s just opens my mind to what is really out there and i think this is a better way to improve our own lives as spouses.”