LCC center for Veterans honored again
Andrew Cosgrove has been the director of the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs at LCC for the past eight years. Photo courtesy of Angela Kemp
By Mallory Stiles
Editor in Chief
Military Veterans are like superheroes; they give everything and ask for little in return, all in the name of preserving and bettering their country.
They are extremely dedicated, incomprehensibly brave individuals who deserve only the best helping hands in their times of need.
Luckily, LCC has a team in place that not only does the job of helping Veterans, but has been nationally recognized as a “gold-status school” for nine consecutive years.
Andrew Cosgrove, the director for the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs, is not only a former U.S. soldier himself, but also a star LCC employee who understands exactly what it takes to get the job done.
“I’ve been doing this for a little over eight years now,” Cosgrove said with a chuckle. “I’ve been here a while.”
LCC was recently notified of the “gold-status” designation. Cosgrove clarified the designation is made by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, as a part of their Michigan Veteran-Friendly Schools Program that was initiated nine years ago.
Cosgrove explained that it can be thought of as a national ranking system that is based off of the surveyed alignment of different colleges and what the agency considers its “best practices.”
LCC officials aren’t afraid to share exactly just how much they have to offer their students who have served in the military.
“We have an academic adviser that works specifically with our Veteran students,” Cosgrove said. “We have specific points of contact for them to get assistance with benefits or any other issues that might pop up while they are in school. We offer counseling services.
“We also have a Veteran Emergency Fund through the LCC Foundation, so, if somebody has a financial hardship, we can provide them with some funding to help them get out of whatever predicament they are in; whether they need groceries or gas or help paying rent. Those are just a few things we do.”
Cosgrove said he can remember a real-life situation that occurred just a few weeks ago in which he was able to use his resources to change a life.
“We had a Veteran who ended up homeless,” he said. “We were able to quickly get him a place to stay, provide him with some funding through our emergency fund. We were able to help him submit a financial hardship appeal to release his financial aid sooner and connected him with other Veteran organizations in the community that could further assist him.”
The Veterans office is in the ivy-covered Huron Building, located at 333 North Washington Square on LCC’s main campus. It is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Appointments may be made by email or phone call and walk-ins are acceptable in a case of emergency.
Receptionist and student Angela Kemp said people come to her in all sorts of moods, but mostly leave with a smile. Kemp is a mom of two, armed with a soothing southern accent and a Veteran past of her own.
“I did human resource stuff in the Army, so this is what I have done for forever,” Kemp said. “Filling out forms is my life. A lot of Veterans struggle after they get out, so it’s important that they have something to help them progress.
“They need something to do and to be proud of.”
In a world of almost constant chaos, it seems one thing is clear: LCC is here for every member of the veteran population and will stop at nothing to bring a little bit of peace to those who protect the United States.
“One of our main goals is just to make things as easy as possible for our Veteran students.” Cosgrove said.