Student Affairs

Veteran Services

Green River Community College is committed to the success of their student veterans and their families. We strive to be the most veteran-supportive campus in the United States. This is because we realize that these men and women bring a tremendous amount of life experience and diversity to our campus. Our lives have been greatly enhanced by their personal sacrifices and we are humbled when they choose our community to return to. 

Please feel free to use this site to find important information about veteran-related resources and services. If you feel that we are missing something please feel free to let us know!

Thank you for choosing Green River Community College and WELCOME to our campus! It is our honor to serve you!

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Latest News

Student Veterans of America announces national conference- posted October 10, 2014

The Student Veterans of America (SVA), a non-profit organization, has announced the date and location of their national conference. The event will be held in San Antonio, Texas on January 8-11, 2015. For more information about this event please visit the SVA website. 

Veteran Services to host Listening Session with Student Veterans- posted October 3, 2014

Green River Community College strives to be the most veteran supportive campus in the United States. This means launching innovative and effective programs that will help student veterans be successful in the classroom and will empower them as they progress towards their personal and professional goals. Join us for a listening session where the students will have the chance to voice their concerns and opinions about how Green River is serving their student veterans. Location is Salish Hall room 357.  

Federal VA Updates Disability Claims Process- posted September 21, 2014

VA Updates Disability Claims Application - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today announced that it is introducing a uniformed disability claims form to better serve Veterans, families and survivors. Standardizing the process by which Veterans file claims and initiate appeals will make it easier for Veterans and their survivors to clearly state what benefits they are seeking from VA and provide information that is necessary to process their claims and appeals. The new forms eliminate applicant guesswork, which often leads to delays in decisions and ultimately delays in receiving benefits. The new regulations go into effect in late March 2015.  

Foundation Hosts Fundraiser to Benefit Student Veterans- posted September 11, 2014

The College, in collaboration with the generous support of Jim and Suzanne Berrios, hosted the second annual Veterans Education Transition Fund (VET Fund) breakfast at the Golden Steer restaurant in Kent. The event rose over $8,000 that will go towards the VET Fund that will help support student veterans at Green River. Thank you to everyone who made the event a huge success!

Upcoming Events

November 4 (noon to 1:00 pm) - Student Veterans Meeting

Lindbloom Center (LC), Veterans Resource Center

Interested in connecting with other student veterans? Come on out to the next Student Veterans of GRCC meeting. The group helps advocate for the needs of student veterans, plans projects and events, and also looks for ways to give back to the community. 

November 7 (noon to 1:00 pm) - Veterans Pizza Lunch

Lindbloom Center (LC), Glacier Room

Each month Veteran Services and their partner, VFW Post 1741, host a free pizza lunch for GRCC veterans. Veterans are encouraged to come on out, grab a bite, and connect with other veterans. You can't beat free food and good company! 

November 8 (8:00 am to 2:00 pm) - Veteran's Day Parade

Bus Circle near the Administration Building (east entrance)

Every year the City of Auburn hosts a Veteran's Day Parade to honor all those who have served. The parade is actually the largest of its kind west of the Mississippi River. Hundreds of local veterans gather together and walk through downtown Auburn. Highlights feature ships from the Coast Guard and Navy, helicopters from the Army, and WWII era Jeeps from the Air Force and Marines. The Veterans of Green River Community College will also be in the parade! If you're interested in participating please contact Timm Lovitt, Director of Veteran Services. 

November 10 (all day) - Marine Corps Birthday

Lindbloom Center (LC), Veterans Resource Center

The Marines Corps was created on November 10, 1775 and is celebrating their 239th year. Help us wish them a big Semper Fidelis! Any veteran can grab a free cupcake on the 10th from the Veterans Resource Center starting at 10:30 am.

November 10 - Priority Registration for Veterans

Lindbloom Center (LC), Veterans Resource Center

Lindbloom Center (LC), Enrollment Services

Green River Community College offers student veterans priority registration. Please check with Enrollment Services to see if they have you marked down in the system so that you can register early. Make sure to bring a copy of your DD-214 just in case. Most veterans collecting VA education benefits already receive priority registration.  

November 12 (all day) - Where We Served Project

Lindbloom Center (LC), Veterans Resource Center (cork board outside)

GRCC is home to veterans of all ages and conflicts from around the world. Help us learn more about our community and where they have served in an interactive map outside of the Veterans Resource Center. Drop by, pick out a push pin, and stick it in our map where you have served and/or deployed. As more people participate, the larger our map will grow and the better we'll understand Where We Served. This project will run throughout November.  

November 12 (11:00 am and 4:00 pm) - Veterans Information Session

Lindbloom Center (LC), Veterans Resource Center

New to Green River? Interested in learning more about VA education benefits? Then this information session is for you! Veteran Services offers two times on most Wednesdays where you can learn more about your benefits and have your questions answered.  

November 13 (noon to 1:00 pm) - VA Disability Claim Workshop

Location TBD

Ever wonder about the VA disability claim process? Join us for an hour long workshop that will help you understand what is involved in this process, what forms you'll need, and get connected to a local resource that can help. Our local partners at VFW Post 1741 in Auburn will teach you all that you need in order to get started.  

November 19 (11:00 am and 4:00 pm) - Veterans Information Session

Lindbloom Center (LC), Veterans Resource Center

New to Green River? Interested in learning more about VA education benefits? Then this information session is for you! Veteran Services offers two times on most Wednesdays where you can learn more about your benefits and have your questions answered.  

Education Benefits

All of the information within this tab has been compiled and condensed in order to provide you with specific steps and/or requirements relating to VA education benefits. While it may not contain everything that you need to know, it should give you enough information to get you started. 

Future Students

Checklist for Getting Started:

  • Apply for VA education benefits

You want to make sure that you apply for your VA education benefits as soon as possible. The VA system is very large and it can take some time for your paperwork to be processed. Applying well in advance will help you minimize unexpected delays. Keep in mind that you do not have to choose your program of study or the college/university that you're interested in at this point.

  • Explore your Academic Options

You have a lot of options when considering which education program you want to pursue. Students can major in anything from Anthropology to Zoology and everything in between. Take some time to explore your interests and identify a career that matches those interests. The Washington Occupational Information System (WOIS) has some great career interest surveys that can help you get started. Once you've narrowed it down a bit you'll be ready to look at different institutions of higher education. 

  • Choose a School and Program of Study

Once you know what you want to do you'll want to pick the school and program of study that best matches your interests and other considerations (location, etc.). Figure out what their entry requirements are and make sure you select a backup school just in case. Many students find that community colleges are easy ways to transition into higher education and begin preparing for larger institutions. Keep in mind that not all schools and programs of study are approved for VA education benefits. You'll want to double check to see if your choices are approved by the VA before you make your final decision.

  • Apply for Admissions

Once you know which school you want to attend you'll want to apply for admissions. During this process you will give the institution information about who you are, what your goals are, and what courses you might have previously taken. Make sure you take your placement exams. You will also select a program of study. This is required by the VA, as they will only pay for courses that are required by the program you select. 

**The rest of the steps listed are specific to Green River Community College (GRCC)**

  • Receive your Student ID Number & Email Address

After you've applied for admission Enrollment Services will send you your student identification number and GRCC email address. This email address is how staff and faculty will get a hold of you while you are attending school. Once you receive these two pieces you'll need to notify the Veteran Services Office that you are new to Green River and would like to receive the new student orientation. Please make sure to include your full name, student id. number, and which VA education benefit you would like to use. Our office will then email you the orientation with additional steps that you will need to complete in order to be certified for VA education benefits. 

  • Send all Prior Education & Military Transcripts to Enrollment Services

One of the most important things you must do is send all prior education and military transcripts to Enrollment Services to be evaluated. This information helps them determine how much credit they can award you for all of your prior education and/or life-experience.  Keep in mind that all transcripts must be sealed and official. If you have attended another college you can request the transcripts directly from that institution. Military transcripts can be ordered through Joint Services Transcripts (Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy) or Air University (Air Force). Once you have requested these transcripts you must also fill out and turn in a transcript evaluation request to Enrollment Services. 

  • Sign up for a Student Orientation, Advising & Registration (SOAR) Session

All new students must attend a SOAR session. These sessions are given by the Career and Advising Center and help students get familiar with the systems that we have in place at Green River. In this session you will learn how to register for classes, set academic goals, as well as learn when and where you can meet with an academic advisor. 

  • Fill out a Quarterly Enrollment Request (QER) 

Students who would like to use VA education benefits must fill out a QER and have it verified by an academic advisor every quarter. This form helps us reduce the amount of overpayment situations that are encountered; resulting in greater confidence for our students. 

  • Attend Class and Complete the Attendance Verification Form 

In order to be certified for your VA education benefits we need you to complete a quarterly attendance verification form and turn it in the first week of school. This will help us to be able to process your paperwork in a timely manner. This process may be different for chapters 30, 1606, and 1607. Don't worry, we'll walk you through it!

  • Regularly Monitor your Green River Email

Your @mail.grcc.edu email address is how the college notifies you about events, activities, updates, and alerts. Make sure that you're checking it regularly, at least two times per week, so that you don't miss important information and/or deadlines. 

Current Students

  • Requesting Certification...

Students collecting VA education benefits are required to have their courses certified each quarter. This is because the VA will only pay for courses that are required in the chosen program of study (they want you to be successful in obtaining a degree and/or certificate). In order to help us process your information and certify your courses in a timely manner we ask that you:

1. Check your registration appointment/access time

*Student veterans at Green River are granted priority registration. Make sure to turn in a copy of your DD-214 to Enrollment Services so that you're eligible. 

2. Register for classes

*Steps 3 to 8 must be completed within four days of you registering.

3. Print a copy of your course schedule

4. Print a copy of your updated degree audit

*Make sure to print the expanded version.

5. Print a quarterly enrollment (QER) form

6. Print a QER Checklist

7. Complete the QER form and QER checklist

8. Turn in the completed QER packet (QER checklist, QER form, course schedule, degree audit) to the Career and Advising Center

*You may want to ask to see someone for a registration appointment if you have additional questions. Keep in mind that the completed QER packet is due within four days of you registering. 

9. Regularly check your student email account

*The college will notify you via student email if there are any issues with your registration, etc. 

  • Verifying my Attendance...

Chapters 30, 1606, and 1607: Complete monthly, online or by calling 1-877-823-2378.

Chapters 33 and 33T: Complete the attendance verification form and turn in to the Veteran Services Office at the beginning of each quarter. 

Chapter 35: You do not need to verify your attendance. 

  • Changing my Program of Study...

Chapters 30, 33, 33T, 1606, and 1607: Print this change of program form, complete as much as possible, and then turn it in to the Veteran Services Office. 

Chapter 35: Print this change of program form, complete as much as possible, and then turn it in to the Veteran Services Office. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the new student orientation?

One of the most common complaints that we've heard is that the VA policies and procedures are difficult to understand. We've tried to simplify things for you. The new student orientation is a written set of steps and guidelines that you'll need to complete in order to be processed for VA education benefits. 

  • Where can I find the new student orientation?

Once you have received your @mail.greenriver.edu email address you'll need to email us to request the New Student Orientation. We'll send it to you electronically, so that you can review it at your convenience. Remember, we won't send it to you unless you ask for it. Make sure to include your name, student identification number, and which VA education benefit you'll be receiving. 

  • Do I need to have my previous taken courses evaluated?

Yes! All student collecting VA education benefits are required to transfer in all of their previously taken courses, as well as their military transcripts. This is because the VA wants to ensure that they pay for only the classes you need in order to graduate. It may mean that you will have to take less courses, because you may have credit and/or experience that will satisfy some of the program requirements. Remember, you must have your transcripts turned in no later than the end of the second quarter you are here. Please visit the Future Students tab for more detailed instructions. 

  • What academic standards must I maintain?

The VA requires that you maintain a quarterly GPA of 2.0 or above. If you fail to maintain this standard for one quarter you will be placed in academic probation status. You will have to pull your grades up above a 2.0 the next quarter to be removed from this status. If you fail to maintain the 2.0 standard for a second quarter in a row you will be placed in academic termination status. This means that you will have to pay for one full quarter out of pocket and maintain a 2.0 or above in order to have your benefits restored. This term must be at least 3/4 time status. There is a one-time waiver that students may apply for if there are circumstances that impacted your ability to earn satisfactory academic progress. See the Veteran Services Office for more details. In addition to maintaining a 2.0 GPA you must also earn all credits that you attempt. If you withdraw from a class you may end up owing the VA an overpayment and be placed in probation/termination status.

Resources

Below are some resources that you may find useful. If you see something that could benefit other veterans, but is not listed please feel free to bring it to our attention. 

Federal Resources

American Lake VA Hospital

9600 Veterans Way, Tacoma, WA

253-582-8440 or 800-329-8387

Federal Way Vet Center

32020 32nd Avenue S, Suite 110, Federal Way, WA

253-838-3090

Federal Benefits Guide for Veterans, Dependents and Survivors

This guide is an online version of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) publication. It is a comprehensive guide to all VA benefits that veterans and their families are entitled to. Some of the more notable chapters include: healthcare benefits, service connected disabilities, education and training, home loan guarantee.

E-Benefits

The VA has shifted many of their processes and applications online. Visit this site to apply for a wide variety of their programs and/or manage your personal information online. 

Federal Employment

Federal agencies grant veterans preference points during the hiring process. Learn more about that process, as well as find current opportunities here. 

Disability Compensation
The disability compensation process can be difficult to navigate and it helps to have current, up-to-date information. This site provides some general guidelines about the compensation claim process.

Make sure you visit the local resources tab to find a local Veteran Service Officer (VSO) to help you navigate the process! 

Invisible Wounds

Post-Traumatic Stress

Traumatic Brain Injury

Military Sexual Trauma

State Resources

Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs

1102 Quince Street S.E., Olympia, WA

360-725-2200 or 1-800-562-0132

Counseling Services

Washington State provides free counseling services to qualifying veterans and their families. Visit the WDVA website for more information and a list of providers near you. 

State Employment

Washington State provides veterans preference for state employment opportunities. 

Free and Reduced Rate Passes

Many veterans and disabled veterans are eligible to receive reduced and/or free rate passes for various services in Washington. Some of these include: fishing and hunting licenses, camping in state parks, ferry rides.

Emergency Funding

Several state-wide grant opportunities exist for veterans who may be in financial need. These programs are operated by the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA). 

County Resources

King County Veterans and Human Services Levy

King County is one of the first counties in the nation to pass a voter-backed veterans levy. The levy provides for social services and programs aimed at reducing veteran homelessness, criminal justice system involvement, and increasing self-sufficiency by means of employment. 

King County Veterans Program

Local Resources

Veteran Service Officers

VFW Post 1741

John Ely and Roger Flygare

253-640-1111 or vfw1741@gmail.com

Veterans Emergency Transitions (VET) Fund

The Green River Community College has created an emergency transitions fund for veterans in order to help with unexpected financial hardships for student veterans. If you or someone you know is experiencing a financial crisis while they are attending classes please feel free to contact us for a VET Fund application. 


Veteran Scholarships

Green River offers many different veteran scholarships. Please visit the Foundation's webpage for more information about available opportunities and information about upcoming deadlines. 

Jobs/Internships

The following opportunities are currently available by outside agencies, businesses, companies, and institutions. While veterans' preference may be given to qualifying candidates, the positions listed may be open to all candidates regardless of prior military service.  

Fare Enforcement Officer

Organization: Securitas

Location: Bellevue

Closing Date: Continuous

Description: The Fare Enforcement Officer is responsible for inspecting customer fares on the transit system to ensure customers are riding with valid passes. This is accomplished by inspecting tickets and passes, taking enforcement actions when appropriate, and dealing with customers who may potentially become uncooperative.

Requirements: 21 years or older, high school diploma or GED, reliable means of communication, reliable means of transportation, able to pass pre-employment drug screening and background check, effective communication skills (written and verbal English), use of personal computer and standard office productivity software (including word processing and spreadsheet applications), acceptable personal appearance, 2 years prior high-level security or military or law enforcement required.

Point of Contact: Kevin Hoyt, 425-653-1454 

Transit Security Officer

Transit Security Officer

Organization: Securitas Location: Seattle Metro Area and Puget Sound

Closing Date: Continuous

Description: Observes and reports activities and incidents at an assigned client site, providing for the security and safety of client property and personnel. Make periodic patrols to check for irregularities and inspect protection devices and fire control equipment. Preserve order and act to enforce regulation and directives for the site pertaining to personnel, visitors, and premises. 

Requirements: 2 years current military or law enforcement experience or 3 years past military or law enforcement, 21 years or older, US citizenship or resident alien admitted to work in the United States, high school diploma or GED, Valid Washington State Driver's License, ability to pass minimum driving requirements, reliable means of communication, reliable means of transportation, able to pass a pre-employment drug screen and criminal background check, effective communication skills, user of personal computer and standard office productivity software, acceptable personal appearance.

Point of Contact: Kevin Hoyt, 425-653-1454  

Customs & Border Protection Officer

Organization: U.S. Customs and Border...

Location: Nation-wide

Closing Date: Opens on July 1 and will stay open for 2 weeks or until 10,000 applications are received.

Description: CBP Officers detect and prevent terrorist and weapons from entering the United States at seaports, airports, and land border crossings. They enforce U.S. immigration and customs laws while also enforcing the laws for over 40 federal agencies.

Requirements: U.S. Citizenship with Veteran Status. Pass a written exam, interview, background, medical, drug test, and polygraph.

Point of Contact: Jack Ramsey, 206-553-6944 ext. 1929

VA Work Study

Organization: GRCC

Location: Green River Community College (main campus)

Closing Date: Once position is filled.

Description: The Veteran Services team is looking for qualified students to work as a VA Work Study. This position reports to the School Certifying Official and helps prepare documentation relating to VA education benefits. They will also assist staff in general office duties that provides direct service to student veterans and dependents. Some duties may include: answering and returning phone calls, scheduling appointments, answering general questions, directing students to appropriate resources.

Requirements: The VA Work Study program is a provided for by the Department of Veterans Affairs and requires that all candidates: (1) report to the School Certifying Official, (2) be receiving VA education benefits, (3) be certified for at least enrollment status (6 credits or more for summer, 9 credits or more fall/winter/springs quarter).

Point of Contact: Sandra Mathews, smathews@greenriver.edu 

Hours/Contact

The Veteran Services Office is located upstairs in the Lindbloom Student Center (LC building) near Financial Aid and Counseling Services. 

The Veterans Resource Center is located on the first floor of the LC building in room 130 (formerly known as the Adams Room). The Veterans Resource Center is currently closed for renovations. 

Krystal Austin, Vet Corps Navigator

Krystal is one of our Vet Corps Navigators and is located in our Veterans Resource Center. She assists veterans, and their family members, by connecting them to resources both on and off campus. Please feel free to drop by, say hello, and learn about the available resources. Krystal is proudly serving in the Washington National Guard.  

Office Location: Veterans Resource Center- Lindbloom Center (LC) room 130

Office Hours: Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm & 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Phone: 253-833-9111 ext. 2277

Email: kaustin@greenriver.edu 

Brian Kunkle, VA Work Study

Brian is our VA Work Study and is located upstairs near the Veteran Services team. He can help answer general questions about VA education benefits and connect you to one of our staff members for more specific questions. Brian proudly served 13 years in the United States Navy.

Office Location: Lindbloom Center (LC) room 230

Office Hours: Monday to Friday, 10:30 am to 2:30 pm

Phone: 253-833-9111 ext. 2561

Email: bkunkle2@mail.greenriver.edu 

Timm Lovitt, Director of Veteran Services

Timm is the Director of Veteran Services and provides general oversight and strategic direction for the Veteran Services program. He serves in a wide variety of ways on campus and can help students connect to resources and services on-campus and in the community. Timm proudly served 5 years in the Army.

Office Location: Lindbloom Center (LC) room 233

Office Hours: Monday to Friday 6:30 am to 4:00 pm      

Phone: 253-833-9111 ext. 2559

Email: tlovitt@greenriver.edu

Sandra Mathews, Program Specialist 2

Sandra is our School Certifying Official and helps certify all of our VA funded students. She is the face of VA compliance for the institution and works hard to ensure that students are able to make informed decisions about using their VA benefits. Sandra has been a proud member of the Gator community for over 22 years. 

Office Location: Lindbloom Center (LC) room 237

Office Hours: Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm 

Phone: 253-833-9111 ext. 2465

Email: smathews@greenriver.edu

Manila Mercurio, Program Coordinator

Manila is the program coordinator for Veteran Services and helps students navigate the paperwork that is required for VA education benefits. She also helps provide information to new students about enrolling and taking courses at Green River. Manila proudly served 5 years in the Navy.

Office Location: Lindbloom Center (LC) room 236

Office Hours: Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm  

Phone: 253-833-9111 ext. 2466

Email: mmercurio@greenriver.edu

Tyler Oliver, Vet Corps Navigator

Tyler is the second of our Vet Corps Navigators and is also located in our Veterans Resource Center. He assists veterans, and their family members, by connecting them to resources both on and off campus. Please feel free to drop by, say hello, and learn about the available resources. Tyler proudly served in the United States Army.

Office Location: Veterans Resource Center- Lindbloom Center (LC) room 130

Office Hours: Varies

Phone: 253-833-9111 ext. 2277

Email: toliver@greenriver.edu