By M. Queiser
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - With a work-study allowance from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Missouri Guardsmen can earn their degree and help pay for it.
Many Citizen-Soldiers attending school receive educational and G.I. Bills benefits, but many still need a part or full-time job to help, the work-study program with the VA can give them employment that is both career and service focused.
The program is beneficial for Guardsmen and employers alike, said Staff Sgt. Jared Stewart, employment assistance noncommissioned officer with the Missouri National Guard.
"Soldiers can get into a field they may be interested in and they get to work with fellow Veterans who've served in uniform too," said Stewart.
In addition, the program gives employers who have limited or no more hiring funds the opportunity to add more employees and support a local Soldier, said Stewart.
Within the program, student Soldiers are assigned tasks that are 100 percent VA related, and can included locations such as the Department of Veterans Affairs offices, National Cemeteries, VA Medical Centers, Veteran Clinics, educational institutions and Department of Labor offices.
Student Soldiers can also find positions at Department of Defense locations, specifically with the Missouri National Guard at Ike Skelton Training Center or Fort Leonard Wood, said Stewart.
The program is available to full or ¾ time students at a college, vocational or professional school and are receiving educational benefits from federal or state programs for their military service.
After the student and their potential supervisor complete the application form and their work hours are determined by their enrollment hours and term, a contract is signed and the student can begin their new job.
If a student doesn't know if a work site is available, they can contact the V.A. Regional office and get assistance to find a site within close proximity of their home and school.
"It's really a great program and good for all involved, employers, Veterans and Soldiers," said Stewart.
For more information about the program, or to start an application, visit www.vba.va.gov/pubs/educationforms or call 1-888-4551.
For more information about the Missouri National Guard, please visit www.moguard.com and our social media sites: www.facebook.com/Missouri.National.Guard; www.twitter.com/Missouri_NG; www.youtube.com/MoNationalGuard; www.myspace.com/missouri_ng; www.flickr.com/photos/missouriguard; www.moguard.com/blog; www.pinterest.com/monationalguard/