BAKERSFIELD -- With veterans returning home from overseas wars and as the military begins scaling down, more veterans are starting to transition to civilian life, which includes going back to school.
Veterans fresh out of the service and some that had been out for years, attended a class at Bakersfield College Thursday to learn about their education benefits.
"The issue any student faces coming back after being out a length of time is you have been out of high school a long time,” said Paul Beckworth, a veteran and history professor at Bakersfield College. “So you have to go from the adult world back to doing homework again."
Fortunately, there are student veterans like Wesley Barrientos who know what it feels like and who can also lend a helping hand.
“Here it's all going to be under one roof,” Barrientos said. “It's going to be on campus and they can walk through it and do it in one day hopefully. They can be registering for classes today.”
For some veterans this is a chance at a new beginning. If you have let your benefits run out or used some already, there are many programs that can still help. Even for older veterans like Carlos Arredondo.
"I am 51 years old and I had never figured out what I wanted to do in life and (then) I figured it out,” Arredondo said. “ It may take a while, but if you come down to the Vet Center here it's a great start."
If you are a veteran and were unable to attend Thursday's class you can still get help. Go to window six at the Financial Aid office at Bakersfield College. It's dedicated to helping veterans.