Henlawson, WV- On Tuesday, July 9, 2013, Logan Veterans Center (at 2:30 pm) will host a grand opening of a new computer lab and associated learning opportunities for rural vets. The lab, equipped with 10 computer stations provided by Future Generations Rural America and Mission WV, will assist vets in accessing a wide range of learning opportunities and available resources.

Trained volunteers will mentor vets in digital literacy skills and how to navigate online resources, such as wvmilitaryconnection.org. Vets will gain access to basic adult education to collegiate level degree programs, applications for federal and state jobs, small business development skills, and online mentoring. This new computer lab will also be open to the general public and may provide a common space for welcoming veterans to the community.

James McCormick, Chairman of West Virginia Veterans Coalition, says, “Logan Veterans Center is doing something really special here. This computer lab and all the Center’s largely volunteer services are part of a larger vision and approach of Logan to be a Veteran Friendly Community. This is an idea that Logan can share with other counties across West Virginia.”

“This partnership began last year,” says McCormick. “Future Generations funded and supported a community veterans meeting in Logan bringing in veterans, community leaders and families across the state for two days to sit down and develop a list of veterans issues and concerns, this meeting and the critical needs lists has been used and continues to be utilized to drive the current direction of our state veterans initiatives and legislative agendas for the WV Veterans Coalition.” 

“The computer lab in Henlawson,” he says, “adds critical technical resources to rural communities not only in Henlawson but surrounding communities as well. Logan Veterans Center has become a model for future veterans centers across the state. Adding this computer lab will be one more lifeline for our veterans and community members to utilize together, in many cases it will mean an outlet for continued education, applying for veterans benefits, communications and connecting with friends and relatives across the country. This critical resource and the positive use of the Internet and training at this center will bring a community together even more. It will be a wonderful thing to see veterans and non-veterans working together, mentoring each other, and deepening friendships. We at the WV Veterans Coalition hope this is the first of many more centers like this across West Virginia, connecting our West Virginia Veterans in Rural West Virginia and bringing one more resource or "Life Line" that builds hope and brings about positive changes.

Director of Future Generations Rural America, Leeann Shreve, says “many resources exist for veterans across West Virginia, but a challenge is access. Reaching out to veterans in rural communities is critical. Many have to travel long distances to get the services they need. This computer lab and the volunteer efforts of the Veterans Logan Center will help bridge the gap for many veterans and their families.”

Participants of the grand opening include:  Directors of Logan Veterans Center – Andrew Clark and Troy "Rudy" Varney- ;  New Cabinet Secretary Rick Thompson (former Speaker of the House); a representative from Governor Tomblin’s Office, and LeeAnn Shreve, Director of Future Generations Rural America.