Hiram – Armed forces veterans and their families who want to take advantage of their GI educational benefits will be able to access a wide range of services, including beginning or continuing their college education, when Hiram College opens its new resource center for veterans on the campus this fall.The center will be one of the first in a private institution in the State of Ohio, and will offer help to veterans and their dependents in accessing their GI educational, medical, mental health, career counseling advice and many other benefits, as well as a place to connect to other veterans.“We are proud of those who have served our country,” said Thomas V. Chema, President of Hiram College. “And we are committed to helping them to take full advantage of their GI benefits to be successful in their return to civilian life.”Plans call for the center to be staffed by professionals who will provide information and screening for federal and state veteran programs, such as education, group therapy and mental health counseling, job training and placement and financial advice. They will also assist veterans in completing and filing the paperwork to claim their benefits.Research shows many veterans never take full advantage of their benefits, which often also extend to their families, either by choice or lack of information or access to services. For example, many veterans assume that their educational benefits, which pay college costs, can only be used at public colleges and universities. In fact, most veterans’ benefits are sufficient to pay tuition at private colleges and universities, such as Hiram. The new resource center at Hiram will be located in the newly renovated space in Miller Hall, and will feature a lounge area as well as service and counseling areas. Services will be available to all students using veteran benefits. The College currently has 14 veterans enrolled and hopes to have 20 before the center opens.