Student Veterans chosen as representatives for AmeriCorps

PULLMAN – Two WSU students were hired to be Veterans Corps representatives for WSU campuses.

The Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs was awarded $252,000 from the Washington Commission for National and Community Service to implement a new AmeriCorps program. The Veterans Corps will engage 27 VetCorps members in a one-year pilot program serving veterans, soldiers and their families.

Mike Luzzo is in his first year of the environmental and natural resource sciences doctoral program at WSU-Tri-Cities. He was hired to be the VetCorps representative on the WSU Tri-Cities campus. Luzzo was in the Air Force for 20 years and retired from being a bioenvironmental engineering technician at the Fairchild Air Force Base in 2000.

Christopher Siders is a sophomore psychology major at WSU in Pullman. This Montana-native was hired to be the VetCorps representative on the WSU Pullman campus. Siders was a combat engineer in Iraq from August 2005 to August 2006, where he sought out and destroyed roadside bombs.

In addition, Nikki Constantin and Jacob Bolyard were hired as half-time representatives to work on the WSU Vancouver campus.

The VetCorps will tap the knowledge, skills and abilities of veterans by engaging them in AmeriCorps national service positions which will enable them to make a positive difference in their communities and improve their qualities of life as civilians. An example of a service assignment is working with soldiers recovering from traumatic brain injuries by engaging them in volunteer opportunities to utilize service to others as an aid in recovery.

VetCorps members will also partner with soldiers assigned to the Warrior Transition Battalion by promoting community-based activities to meet the needs of military families while a family member is deployed.

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