Secretary of Veteran Affairs wants to change stigma on student veterans

Tamica Jean-Charles/Entertainment Director

Samuel Grossman plans on serving his country in the future, but for now, he is serving the university’s student veterans.

As the Secretary of Veteran Affairs for the Student Government Council at the Modesto Maidique campus, he offers a helping hand in any and everything student veterans may need.

“I’m going to advocate for them as best I can to improve on [veteran relations],” said Grossman.

In addition to SGC-MMC, Grossman is involved in a series of veteran-related extracurriculars at the University; Grossman is also an active member in the veteran-philanthropic fraternity, Theta Chi, in the Veteran and Military Affairs, Southern Strike Battalion with the FIU Reserves Officers Training Corps and was former vice president for the Student Veteran Association.

One of Grossman’s biggest accomplishments so far in SGC-MMC was granting student veterans a free printing service. A couple of administrations prior to Grossman’s, veterans were promised their own printer that was meant to be free—the printer was free, but the printing was not.

Luckily, Grossman and his colleagues were able to attain a card that allowed student veterans to print at the VMA office free of charge.

Grossman wasn’t able to attend the SVA meeting after the council agreed on the card, but he said members of the club started “clapping and shouting with joy.”

“[It was] a one step accomplishment out of many more that I hope to get done,” said Grossman. “I knew it meant a lot for them because it was something long overdue.”

The senior communication arts major’s affinity towards veterans began when he was young. His father, who is also an FIU police officer, served in the Marine corps. Ever since he could remember, Grossman looked up to his father who he said is a “man of integrity and leadership.”

“Even though he couldn’t be around a lot, whenever I did see him [his friends] would always tell me he led by example,” said Grossman.

Grossman continues to apply his father’s values into his leadership opportunities.

Before he began at the University, Grossman attended officer candidate school, institutions that train enlisted personnel and civilians to earn commission in the armed forces.

Out of all of Grossman’s activities, the VMA has left a lasting impression on the future serviceman. He enjoys the presence of the student veterans, but he continues to be inspired to enlist after he graduates.

“It’s an honor to get this kind of advice,” said Grossman. “These men and women have lived through a lot, and it’s honestly helped me progress as a leader and as a person.”

Grossman plans on enlisting post-graduation and become a second lieutenant officer, more specifically, a communications office. If not, he hopes to pursue a position in military intelligence, or any federal agency.

Some veterans who attend may believe current students will have a hard time understanding their experiences, said Grossman. However, Grossman believes the only way students can change that is to get involved with the VMA and get to know student veterans.

“They served us, and now it’s time we serve them,” said Grossman.

Photo courtesy of Samuel Grossman.

Editor’s note: A typo was made at the first publication of this story. Instead of Sudden Strike Battalion, Grossman was actually apart of the Southern Strike Battalion. 

1 Comment on "Secretary of Veteran Affairs wants to change stigma on student veterans"

  1. Jose Hernandez | November 6, 2018 at 4:59 PM | Reply

    There is a misspelling in the ROTC Program’s unit name, it’s “Southern strike,” not “Sudden Strike.”

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