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Pat Tillman Veterans Center serves as critical link between military service and student, civilian life

Photo of a girl going on Pat's run that honors the legacy of war hero Pat Tillman
The No. 42 along with the legacy of fallen war hero Pat Tillman — and the Veterans Center named for him open since 2019 — has become a beacon of where American veterans know they can get services that help. (File Photos/
Pat Tillman Veterans Center at ASU makes paramount difference
By Alexandra DeCosta | Digital Free Press

The Pat Tillman Veterans Center at Arizona State University offers work-study opportunities for veterans and dependents.

Since 2018, the Armed Forces-affiliated population at Arizona State University has hit record high numbers. ASU is well known not only for the multiple degrees they offer but it is also known as a military friendly university, veterans on campus interviewed say.

The Pat Tillman Veterans Center has been open since Aug. 8, 2011, and since that time its sole purpose has been to help veterans transition from military life to a civilian and student lifestyle.

The center offers numerous resources and ways military families can get more involved at Arizona State University. The Pat Tillman Veterans Center offers veterans and dependents work study at their centers.

After being in the Army, Wyatt Russell has been a part of the work-study program for a year. Mr. Russell refers to it as a great resource for military-associated students and encourages others to take advantage of everything the center offers.

“The Pat Tillman Center has helped me transition from military life to civilian life by providing me with a tight-knit community of like-minded people who share a lot of the same experiences and challenges as me,” he said.

Committed to the motto “Inspiring Service,” The Pat Tillman Veterans Center website offers information on upcoming events, scholarship information, and different ways veterans and dependents can get involved at Arizona State University.

Work-study employee and founding member of 42 Collective Nicholas Coteus describes the student club on campus.

“42 Collective is a student veteran club at ASU focused on helping veterans make social connections during their time at ASU. It is an open membership club, and we aim to help veterans connect with both other veterans as civilian students.”

Mr. Coteus is in his second semester working at the Pat Tillman Center. Prior to being at Arizona State, Mr. Coteus was in the Marine Corps. He describes the work-study at the PTVC as a family.

“All of the staff would give you the shirt off their back and make the veteran students at ASU their absolute priority. The work-study there also puts in an enormous amount of time and effort on behalf of the student veteran population because we know how hard it is to go it alone.”

Monica Navarro, a dependent and part of work study, considers the Pat Tillman Veterans Center as a second family.

“Working at the PTVC was nothing like what I expected it to be,” she said. “When I started, I didn’t think I’d make many friends, but looking back now I feel like I was scared for nothing because everyone at the PTVC is so welcoming, and I’m never afraid to talk to my coworkers about anything.”

“Overall, it feels like a second family, something many students look for when they’re in college. The PTVC really gives you the chance to meet people from all walks of life, whether they served, or are a dependent — and it’s a real eye-opener when you meet these people.”

The Pat Tillman Veterans Center is very actively recruiting veterans and dependents to apply to the work-study program.

Editor’s note: Ms. DeCosta is a journalism student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

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