Q: What is your name?
A: Joseph Watts, and I am a student here at TJC.
Q: What is your major?
A: I am studying to be a Networking and Systems Administrationor in IT.
Q: Why did you choose that field?
A:I have always had an fascination with computers and I always wanted to know how they work and why.
Q: Did your military career lead you to this field?
A: No, It did not. I was a truck driver in the military. We delivered ammunition, food, water, troops, mail and supplies plus among other things.
Q: Is there anything on campus that is for veterans?
A: No, not until recently. Another student veteran on campus named David came to the realization that there was not a student veteran organization on campus. We talked to Mike Collins who is our VA rep here on campus, and Collins informed us that the last time it was started was 21 years ago with him. However, there wasn’t enough support so it fell through. There wasn’t enough membership participation.
Q: Are you picking up the torch for a Veteran Student Organization?
A: Yes, we were recognized by TJC last semester of fall 2018. Right before the winter break. So now we are in the process of trying to recruit more members for the VSO. We are looking to expand and get as many veterans as we can. So they can have a place to build that same comradery as they might have had in the military. That is our main goal. A place that a veteran can come be themselves and have their voice be heard.
Q: Do you have any other goals for VSO?
A: Yes, so as other veterans connect with one another in this organization they can share information that the other might not have; whether it be school, work, or personal matters. We could help each other out.
Q:When are your meetings?
A: They are twice a month, and since we are new we are still working out the dates, but, we email Mike Collins and he will email all Veterans on the campus that he has on file. We will let them know when it will be next. He will email not just main campus but all of TJC campuses: North, West, and Main.
Q: Is the organization just for veterans?
A: No. It is open to dependents as well. Even if their veteran is not on campus or on the organization. Those who are looking to go into the military. Such as a mentor/mentee program.
Q: What is a mentor/mentee program?
A: It is a program that will help condition anyone who wants to join and not just get them physically fit but help them learn the hard truths that go with join the military. A recruiter is one to just get you in, not give you those hard truths. That is what we want to do for those who wish to join.
Q: What is your hope for the future and VSO?
A: We are hoping that the VSO can have a presence here on campus. There are veteran adviser board meetings. It is the facility on campus and there are certain benefits and group events for veterans on campus. Right now it’s a small group out 300 plus veterans that on the campus that is giving their input to them.
Q: What other hopes do you have for this?
A: We want to get as many veterans in this as possible. Not a lot of information gets out the vets on campus because some are just keeping their heads down and focusing on school, which is fine, but some might need that “safe place” for them to share thoughts and give back to the community around them.
Q: What would like TJC to know about veterans?
A: We are not all crazy with multiple disorders. We are not flying off the handle and we are not out to get others. We are just the few that decided to defend this great country we love. So when others are thinking about join the VSO, know that we are open to welcoming in new members.