American Legion Post 808

A hidden gem for veteran students

By David Trujillo, Writer

Few will understand what it’s like writing their will at 19 years old.

However, for the veterans who attend UA as students, it was or still is a part of their reality. Being surrounded by people who will probably not understand their experiences, feelings and outlooks can lead to a feeling of overwhelming isolation.

Fortunately, there is a safe haven for returning veterans who may be feeling like outsiders here at UA. It’s called the American Legion Post 808.

“[The American Legion] is an organization with endless possibilities and we encourage all to experience the teamwork and veterans upholding veteran rights and benefits,” said Patricia Stofiel, a first-year doctoral student at UA and second vice commander of Post 808. “It is a gathering I look forward to every month, to listen to others ideas and put plan into action.”

Being one of the more active American Legion posts, and the only one active on a college campus, Post 808 is aimed at recruiting, retaining and networking veteran students and alumni of UA.

The post sponsors events on and off campus to benefit veterans, such as an annual food drive for the veterans homeless shelter in Summit County.

They also co-sponsor and help organize job fairs, luncheons, tail gates, train rides and many other events to give veterans a place to go and feel a similar sense of comradery from the past.

“This group of veterans feel passionate about helping others and contain the willingness to help those whom they barely know,” Stofiel said, encouraging veteran students to join. “That’s the beauty of being a veteran: knowing you are never alone and you belong to a family; the post is a home, a place everyone can go.”

​More information on American Legion Post 808 and its student organization counterpart, the Military Veteran’s Association, can be found at the university’s Musson Veterans lounge. The lounge is located at InfoCision Stadium, Room 324 on the third floor. All those who have served are welcomed and encouraged to come.