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Supporting Veterans in Charleston, S.C. — Surprising Ways a Difference can be Made

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American Legion Post 179 recently laid out a total of 378 wreaths in December to honor veterans as part of National Wreaths Across America Day, which coordinates wreath laying ceremonies at Arlington National cemetery in addition to more than 2,500 other locations. However, when it comes to honoring veterans in other ways —  such as by supporting and serving them in everyday life, there are a number of ways that Charleston strives to do so. From how educational facilities provide resources to career opportunities that can help civilians give back to the veteran community, here are a few ways that the city is making a difference.
Supporting student veterans
One notable way that the city of Charleston works to support veterans is by providing the perfect atmosphere for student veterans to thrive. In fact, the U.S. News & World Report has actually ranked the College of Charleston as one of the best schools in the nation for veterans these past few years. With the college’s Veteran and Military Student Services well known for attributing to the title, as they help make the transition from military life to student veteran as seamless as possible, though vets are supported in various other ways throughout the year as well. For example, the college features a resource fair that helps student veterans make valuable connections on campus, and special Veteran’s Day commemorations with featured speakers to honor veterans are also known to take place.
Simple resources for financial success 
From taking on studies to purchasing a home, providing access and knowledge on simple resources that can help veterans navigate such endeavors is just one way that Charleston’s veteran community can be continually supported. For instance, for veterans who are looking to take out a loan via a VA loan program, simple resources such as an amortization calculator can help vets to thrive financially. Because there are two primary aspects to keep in mind when calculating a monthly loan repayment schedule (aka the principal, or amount borrowed as well as the interest), keeping track of how much interest is owed compared to how much principal remains to be paid is essential in proper loan management. However, when a homeowner makes extra payments, they can save money by paying less interest over the life of the loan. That said, an amortization calculator with extra principal payments will allow vets to better keep track of their finances, such as by allowing them to budget accordingly while knowing where they are in the repayment process.
Serving veterans via unique opportunities
For those looking to further support Charleston’s veterans on their own time, volunteering at a VA healthcare clinic or nursing home is always a welcome idea. However, many may not realize that there are additional opportunities to be aware of for those who are currently in university, which can aid in supporting the veteran community while also furthering a career in the medical field.
The Ralph H. Johnson VA Health Care System is just one notable example that offers training programs for university and postgraduate students via internships, residencies, and even fellowships. The Charleston Consortium Internship Program, for instance, aims to provide interns with training that will enhance their expertise in research, clinical assessment and treatment, and more. With additional opportunities like pharmacy residencies, post baccalaureate nursing residency, and postdoctoral fellowship program in couples and family psychology, there’s no shortage of ways that civilians can support veterans while advancing their career.
From the helpful resources offered by the College of Charleston to simple online tools like an amortization calculator, there are many ways that the local veteran community can be supported. However, it’s also imperative to realize that there are additional ways that one can support the veteran community —  such as volunteering or even participating in a career driven program.
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