Summer activities for MI veterans

As summer gets into swing, there are many ways to enjoy all Michigan has to offer, and veterans have access to especially unique opportunities throughout the state.

Although there are many programs and organizations looking to serve veterans, one of the biggest challenges is getting information out about all that is available, says Scott Fraser of Team River Runner.

A man participating in a fishing outing

Team River Runner, with chapters in Battle Creek and Marquette, hosts kayaking and fishing outings for disabled veterans. However, Fraser says that all veterans whether physically disabled, experiencing stress or readjusting to life at home, can benefit from recreational programs.

Fraser is also involved with Heroes on the Water, an organization that provides recreational therapy with certified instructors through water sports.

BAD CO, which stands for Behavioral Advancement Despite Common Obstacles, is a group of recent combat veterans that aims to help with readjustment through group experiences. Activities include hiking, biking, paintball, rocking climbing and attending sporting events.

Other organizations serving veterans through recreation include Team Red, White and Blue, a national organization with several chapters throughout Michigan; and Freedom's Finest Outdoors, a local non-profit organization. Based in Lansing, Freedom's Finest Outdoors provides archery, golf, hunting and camping among its many activities and events.

The State of Michigan offers disabled veterans hunting and fishing licenses at no cost, as well as free access to state parks.

For more information on recreational opportunities open to veterans in Michigan, call 800-MICH-VET or visit Michigan Veterans

Student Veteran Orientation

Student Veterans of America

Join us for our Student Veterans of America (Western Michigan University Chapter) meetings, held every Monday during fall and spring semesters. The SVA is a way for veterans, currently serving military, ROTC cadets, and  their friends and families to find support, resources and the advocacy needed to succeed in higher education and employment. Meetings are held at 6 p.m. at the downtown Kalamazoo VFW. Visit WMU's SVA chapter for more information.

Care packages for deployed military members

The Western Michigan University Student Veterans of America is collecting items for Care Packages for our deployed military members. Please bring small individually packaged items to the Student Veteran Lounge, Ellsworth Hall, room 1304.

Graduation regalia

Red, white and blue cords are available for pickup during normal business hours at our office in 1260 Ellsworth Hall free of charge. Be sure to get yours to wear during commencement.