The transition from serving in a combat zone back into civilian life is filled with challenges. Fortunately, for returning servicemen and women attending Tunxis, the Veterans’ OASIS (Operation Academic Support for Incoming Service Members) helps with that transition by serving as an on-campus refuge. There, students can hang out, do their homework and make connections with other students who also face the challenge of transitioning back to civilian life.
Karen DeBari, an adjunct English professor at Tunxis, is the lifeblood of the OASIS. Under her guidance this organization has flourished and is rapidly becoming a model of best practices for other Veteran OASIS programs at colleges throughout Connecticut.
In addition to helping vets with issues like finding jobs, housing or navigating the VA system, the OASIS also hosts get-togethers like barbeques and movie nights for the members. These social events are critical since, as DeBari says, “The camaraderie is key to these students. They tell you how much they miss their units. And, this is like a new unit for them – almost like a family. “
Nelson Algarin is president of the Tunxis Veterans’ Club and received the 2015 Tunxis Veterans’ Club Leadership and Service Award. He echoes DeBari’s comments by saying, “This place is a safe haven where there are no filters, no boundaries. I want people coming home to know that there’s a place for you, we’re here for you.”
The Tunxis Foundation is proud to be a partner of the OASIS by helping to support those who have done so much for our country. Anyone interested in making a tax-deductible donation to the Veteran’s Oasis Fund can do so by sending a check payable to the “Tunxis Foundation VO Fund” to 271 Scott Swamp Road Farmington, CT 06032.