PARKVILLE, Mo. -- Park University is setting the national standard on how to welcome, embrace and support military veterans. The university was selected as the one of the top military friendly universities by Military Advanced Education Magazine for the fifth consecutive year.
Sonia Padron served two tours as a member of the United States Army.One tour in Iraq, the other in Afghanistan. She now serves then National Guard but calls Park University her home.
"Coming here I only knew one person, " said Padron. "After the first semester I have a group of friends, we basically all stick together."
In the Kansas City area, Sonia is just one of 185 military veterans getting an education through Park University. Across the nation, more than 3,000 veterans are using Park University to accomplish educational and personal goals.
The military and veteran student services center at Park University offers a wide range of counseling and support services, scholarships and even a free text book exchange system for veterans. The university also helps almost fourteen thousand active military members through online courses.
At the Parkville location, Stephen Terry runs the military and veterans services center and takes pride in helping veterans.
"We feel that every service member, every veteran, family member, wounded warrior, spouse or dependant deserves that treatment and respect and we are going to be the university that gives it to them," said Terry.
Park has a few Kansas City area campuses, one in Austin, TX., and 35 other learning centers on military bases in the United States.
Zach Clark spent four years in the United States Marine Corps. He served as a machine gunner in Iraq from 2007 to 2008. Finding veteran support from a school is why he chose park.
"Having fellow students who have gone through the same situations, even with education all the way to a tour in the same area helps, " said Clark. "Just nice to know that our brotherhood never quits when you get out."
The university also helps almost fourteen thousand active military members through online courses.