Student Veteran Organization offers camaraderie, encouragement | ECTC

Student Veteran Organization offers camaraderie, encouragement

November 10, 2023

ECTC has a longstanding tradition of welcoming military veterans and seeking out ways to make their time at the college easier. That is distinctly evident in both the Military and Veteran Services office and the Student Veteran Organization.  

“Our role is to alleviate any barriers that a service member or veteran may face as they work to achieve their educational goals,” said ECTC Director of Military and Veteran Services Tabbi Stutzenberger. “Whatever the objective is, whether it’s to take a couple of classes for fun or earn credentials for a career, we make sure they get there with as few barriers as possible.”  

Stutzenberger also is the staff advisor for SVO, a student-led organization that provides a supportive and inclusive space for military veterans to foster relationships with people who have had similar experiences.  “Veterans tend to connect better with other veterans,” Stutzenberger said. “SVO offers a place for them to meet and advocate for each other.”  

In addition to Stutzenberger, SVO also receives guidance from Army National Guard veteran and ECTC Culinary Arts Associate Professor Jamie Miracle, who acts as faculty advisor.  

“SVO creates a sense of belonging,” Miracle said. “Many members are fresh out of the military, and this is a place to meet people who understand their experiences.”

The group is served by Vice President Miki Poole and President Daniel O’Dell. O’Dell has been a student at ECTC since the summer, working toward and associate in arts, with plans to transfer to the University of Louisville to study business organizational leadership and learning. He first joined SVO for the camaraderie.  

“I went to try to find people like me,” he said. “Lots of veterans feel lost, like maybe they’re not in the right place or that people don’t understand them. Once I found SVO I realized that I had a lot in common with other members and the bond was there as if we’d already known each other.”  

O’Dell considers his role in the organization to take care of other soldiers, to offer encouragement and help them feel whole again.  “Lots of us are either lost or question what we’re doing at the moment,” he said. “SVO will lead you in the right direction, get you the answers you need and help you on your mission no matter what. Mission complete, just like in the military.”  

In addition to friendship and solidarity, SVO also provides mentorship and a way for members to learn from each other.

The executive board meets twice a month, but the group has recently adopted a weekly lunch and conversation for anyone who would like to join. Every Wednesday, from noon to 1 p.m., SVO members are encouraged to meet at ECTC’s Culinary Corner in OTB room 200. There they can chat with other veterans, eat lunch, and discuss any issues that require assistance.  

"SVO is like a battle buddy, someone to be with you through every aspect of college,” O’Dell said. “No matter what it is, we’ll be there to either help you or lead you in the right direction.”  

To learn more about SVO, contact Jamie Miracle at or 270-706-8522. For more information on Military and Veteran Services, email or call 270-706-8815 or stop in RPC room 108 on the college’s main campus.

Military and Veteran Services