Northern Michigan University alumnus Michael Brown (BS 2005) spoke on behalf of veterans during a recent Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee discussion, as the special guest of U.S. Sen. Bob Casey. Brown is currently the coordinator of veterans services at Mongomery County Community College in Lafayette Hill, Pa.
The Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee promotes a dialogue between Senate Democrats and leaders from across the nation. Each year, the Steering Committee hosts numerous meetings with advocates, policy experts and elected officials to discuss key priorities and help develop of the Senate Democratic agenda.
Brown spoke about the importance of access to education through the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Access Act, also known as the “Forever GI Bill”. He advocated that education helps to open doors for Veterans.
Brown also spoke about the challenges facing veterans as they transition from military to academic life.
“Adjusting to life after the military can be difficult for some,” said Brown, who is a U.S. Army veteran. “At Montgomery, we try to make this transition smoother. We have a designated Veterans Resource Center where I meet with veterans, and they can learn about available resources on campus and in the community. Through our Student Veterans Organization and our annual Mindfulness Retreat veterans have opportunities to develop friendships and share their feelings and concerns.”
During the panel discussion, Brown spoke about the possible need for an undersecretary for the Veterans Administration. This person would be an advocate for veterans, responsible for listening to their concerns and ensuring their needs are met, including their high education requirements.
Brown received his bachelor’s degree in political science from NMU. He has been the coordinator of veterans services at MCCC since July 2015.