Thursday, the College of Eastern Idaho cut a ribbon of new opportunity for those who have served with its new armed forces center.
The project was made possible through a donation from the Maeck Foundation, and will be used as a tool to attract and serve more eastern Idaho veterans.
"This kind of odd-shaped space, that's the perfect size for our veteran population, and transformed it into this welcoming, and I would say usable space," said Ann Marie Peters, Director of Strategic Partnerships for CEI.
The center will provide opportunity for veterans to learn and better themselves with flyers of local events, it will also provide relaxation with coffee, snacks, and gaming, as well as laptops to help with school work or other endeavors.
That sense of community, is one of its most important purposes.
"Affiliation with other veterans is really important, and I think this cohort model meaning that veterans would be working with veterans and be learning together gives an automatic support system," said CEI President Rick Aman. 
Along with the new center, the college announced a new program that goes hand-in-hand.
"Taking a military person's training, and wrapping in into their degree program," said Marji Price, CEI's Vice President of Instruction and Student Services. 
The College Credit for Prior Learning program puts CEI amongst the major universities in Idaho, by taking student's training and experience from outside of the classroom, and transferring it as college credit.
Giving those who never went to or never finished college, including veterans, the ability to get their degrees faster.
"We want that for our veterans. We want to recognize what they already know, fold that into their degree plan, and then propel them forward," said Price. 
Providing hope for local service members of the past, present, and future.

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