U.S. flags flap bravely in the wind this Veteran’s Day reminding all in the community of the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform.
At the College of Staten Island (CSI), the outreaching arms of commitment to veterans continues to expand with a new partnership between the College and the New York City Department of Veterans Services. Through the collaboration, a Department and Borough liaison will be provided an office at CSI Willowbrook to assist CSI student-veterans and veterans in the community who are not students.
CSI alumnus and veteran Matthew Basile ’16 was the solid choice for the liaison role.
As the Community Outreach Specialist, Basile brings knowledge, experience, and compassion to the post. The Tottenville resident served in the U.S. Navy for four years before earning his dual degree in Economics and Political Science. While at CSI, Basile worked at Veteran’s Affairs as well as the Registrar’s Office.
The liaison’s role is to provide accessible resources and assistance for veterans on Staten Island, and student veterans with the college’s Veteran Support Services office, saving them one or more tedious trips to agencies outside of the Borough.
“CSI is a good option, geographically speaking, as it’s very central and also accessible via public transportation. Parking is abundant, and it’s just a great fit overall,” said Basile, who, in his new role, will serve student-veterans with such things as advisement, veteran-alumni with career help, and veterans in the community with general resources such as VA claims or military record retrieval.
“Most veterans believe that there are not enough resources and services available to them, and, more importantly, many are unaware of this availability,” noted Jamal Othman, Assistant Commissioner for Education, Employment, and Entrepreneurship, adding that veterans can also have difficultly dealing with multiple and remote agencies.
“By establishing satellite offices, we can go to the community and create a venue for those who can’t make to it to New York City or places outside their communities,” Othman said.
In addition to the office at CSI, a nationally-ranked a “Top Military Friendly School” by GI Jobs magazine for the past seven years, Basile maintains an office at Borough Hall in St. George.
“Veterans Day is a great reminder of all that our veterans have done for us, but it’s also important to continue to care for our veterans year-round,” said Borough President James Oddo. “Having Matthew Basile on Staten Island will make it easier for local veterans to navigate the veteran benefits system and get help if they need it. We are happy to have Matt at Borough Hall and encourage all veterans to visit him here or at CSI. Thank you to the administration and everyone at the Department of Veterans Services for working with us to address the needs of Staten Island’s veterans.”
“CSI is proud to continue to improve and expand upon our services for veterans. As a nationally-ranked ‘Military Friendly School,’ we are always looking for innovative and collaborative ways to ensure that the veterans in our community are given the best possible resources and services,” commented William J. Fritz, PhD, President of the College of Staten Island.
“The information is there and veterans need access to it. If you don’t know the ins and outs, it could be a very trying situation,” noted Basile, explaining that, for example, the GI Bill stipend has an expiration date and if students do not plan accordingly, they could run out of benefits before receiving their degrees.
Commissioner Loree Sutton, MD, said she was “very pleased to be working closely with CSI and the Staten Island community to improve the delivery of resources and services to all veterans.”
“It’s a pleasure to collaborate with the College, and I look forward to moving our successful working relationship towards bigger and better things for the veteran community,” said Sutton, a retired Brigadier General, U.S. Army.
Matt Basile’s office is located at the College of Staten Island, 2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island NY, in Campus Center room 216. He has additional office hours at Borough Hall, 10 Richmond Terrace in St. George. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 646.799.2743.