WESTWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- UCLA has a long history when it comes to serving veterans. For nearly a century, the university has supported veterans' educational efforts through programs and services.
The university's Veteran Resource Center is the first stop for many transitioning from the military to an academic path.
"We offer comprehensive services that help folks from the point where they're thinking they want to go to college and want to learn about the different programs and resources and services we have, all the way to providing them with academic, personal, wellness and career development services, and focusing on employment and graduation," said Dr. Emily Ives, Director of Veteran Services.
This week, the college is celebrating staff, faculty and students who serve in the U.S. military. On campus, there are more than 1,000 military-connected students, more than 300 of whom are veterans themselves.
Zeeshan Parvez is a Marine Corps veteran studying for a PhD in material chemistry.
"UCLA has been amazing at supporting veterans. Honestly, I've been through three universities and it seriously does do a better job than most," said Parvez.
He helped establish a STEM program to connect veterans entering science programs, while U.S. Navy veteran Daryl Barker made his mission to help veterans and other non-traditional students navigate the vast resource of UCLA's library system.
"When I got to college, I walked through the door and was like I don't even know where to start," said Barker. "I really sought ways to reduce those barriers to entry to get more folks using the programs."
UCLA also offers these veteran students a community where they can break bread together in shared camaraderie.