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Clawson advocates for veterans

By Sherry Jacobs Advertising Manager

September 26, 2013

Photo by Sherry Jacobs
Military and Veterans Services Coordinator Michael Clawson with SVA vice president James Standridge about veteran awareness.

Earning 22 awards and decorations during his 28 years of service in the United States Army,  Military and Veterans Services Coordinator Michael Clawson is now heading the Veterans Task Force at UNCP.

Clawson retired from the military and served as a part time consultant, but he wanted more so he began to look for another job.

Clawson found the job listing for UNCP and wondered what the job entailed, so he applied for it.

“I was an officer and a college student once, so I figured as a communicator and counselor, I could do the job,” Clawson said.

From 1985 to 1990, Clawson completed a Rotary Wing Aviation Qualification Course and qualified in the Apache Longbow, Black Hawk, Cobra, Huey and Kiowa helicopters.

“I always wanted to fly and always thought of being a part of the military, but I didn’t make the decision to join until I was in college,” he said.

Clawson and his wife were high school sweethearts from Blowing Rock in Boone, N.C.

He attended Appalachian State University  where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

Clawson has set short, mid and long range goals for the Office of Military and Veteran Services.

“There are problems among our military affiliated and veterans on campus. The higher administration realized there was a problem, and that’s why I am here. To help find a solution,” Clawson said.

Clawson is in the process of finding a way to grow and expand support for the students.

Goals

Dependents getting benefits are among these students. They have questions and Clawson is on track to provide answers and look for resources that answers the questions that he cannot.

Some of the short goals that Clawson is looking forward to achieving are reviewing and revising policies where necessary, refining and updating web pages and increasing awareness  and inclusion of dependents.

He has successfully implemented a graduation recognition ceremony for veteran and military students.

During the ceremony, the students receive a coin and honor cord to wear for graduation.

Current work

He is currently partnering with the UNCP Student Veterans Association of America (SVA), to promote awareness and recruit students to get involved.

“Veterans bring a unique diversity from their life experiences that other students lack. They deserve recognition,” Clawson said.

There are 800 plus veteran and military affiliated students on campus.

Clawson is one person; however, with support of the university and his background, he is determined to make a difference in the students experiences here at UNCP. 

Mid range goals that Clawson is working on are habitual meetings and raising the faculty and staff awareness to the unique issues faced by military and veteran students and the their families.

Clawson hopes to eventually have a “One Stop Shop” for the students so  they can have a single point of entry for admissions, finances, certifying VA officials, a meeting area and other resources they may need.

This job will be a lot of work, but it’s all for the students. At least I had the chance to spend extra time with my son during his senior year here,” Clawson said.            

Clawson was responsible for 26 personnel, 15 five-ton tractors and 20 12-ton trailors for movement and delivery tasks for a 10,000-man division in Fort Campbell, Ky.

He was the director of management and logistics that supported 550 soldiers and their families, 500 government owned housing units and 163 vehicles in Hanau, Germany.

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