SU Celebrates the Opening of the NVRC
By John Perik
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Wednesday marked the day many veterans in Syracuse have been looking forward to for the last few years. The official celebration of the National Veterans Resource Center. A place unlike any other in the world.
For Lawrence Behling, American Legion Officer, the resource center is transformative. “It’s a great thing for veterans,” Behling said. “I think it helps veterans to express themselves, especially with the rate of suicide.”
Ron Hulgan, U.S. Army Veteran and American Legion Officer, said the center is the first of its kind. “There are so many non-for-profit organizations that are out there but no real cohesive hub,” Hulgan said. “This center will serve as that hub.” A hub for servicemen and women across the country.
Lawrence Behling said he believes the center will bring comfort to many veterans. “Veterans prefer to talk to veterans; we don’t normally talk to civilians,” Behling said. “You haven’t experienced what a veteran has really experienced.”
Michael Haynie, Vice-Chancellor of Syracuse University, said the NVRC represents a social duty Syracuse has to those who have served this country. “Syracuse University is going to live up to its societal and moral obligation to support this community,” Haynie said.
The National Veterans Resource Center was originally supposed to open in April 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic delayed the plans. The original opening speaker for the ceremony was supposed to be Colin Powell, Vice-Chancellor Haynie said. On October 19, 2021, Powell died of complications of Covid-19. On Wednesday, Isabella Guzman, the Small Business Administration (SBA) administrator, spoke in Powell’s place.
Outside it’s just a building, but inside, the National Veterans Resource Center is a place of comfort for veterans, unlike anywhere in the world.