LOCK HAVEN, Pa. -- Veterans studying at Lock Haven University now have a place to call their own on campus. The state school recently opened a veterans center.
Lock Haven University already has clubs and events especially for veterans, but the veterans lounge gives these students a place to meet and relax on campus.
Inside Zimmerli Natatorium at Lock Haven University there's a room that's hard to miss. With stars and stripes now painted around the doorway, the veterans center is officially open.
"When the new president came in, he was the driving force to making this happen and he made it a priority and found us a space and turned the reigns over to me," said the assistant director of financial aid Liza Kopp.
With financial support from the VA, Lock Haven University built and decorated the room especially for their student veterans.
Kopp works with dozens of student veterans and for her, this is a way to say thanks.
"Thank you for your service and here's a space where you can come and get done what you need to," Kopp said.
Nadine Willits is studying to be a social worker. She's also an Army veteran. Willits and other veterans will need a code to get inside where they can use the computers or just relax and watch TV.
"It's almost a home away from home," Willits said. "When you are stuck here for a few hours between classes, it's a nice place to come and sit down and be able either do some work or eat lunch."
Along with this new center, veterans at Lock Haven University are also welcome to join the Student Veterans Alliance. It's a group where they can connect and give back.
"I didn't realize there were that many veterans on campus until I went to the first Student Veterans Alliance meeting," Willits said.
"They make a lot of sacrifices for us, not only them, but our families while they are serving, so for us, it's kind of nice to give back to them," Kopp added.
By creating a space just for veterans, the school hopes new student veterans will feel connected quicker. It's also a place where they can find support and learn about veterans benefits.