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Feb 25, 2012 7:11 PM by Elizabeth Hill

University of Phoenix honors troops

The Univeristy of Phoenix hosted a military appreciation event today at the Lafayette campus.

Veterans and active duty members, friends and family came out and enjoyed plenty of great food, games, prize giveaways and live music.

This is just one way the University of Phoenix strives to give back to our troops.

"Veterans have done a lot of things in a lot of strange places for us and its our chance to give back to them."

Associate Vice President of the University's Military Division Garland Williams says they work closely with service men and women to provide them with an education at their hometown campus or online, thousands of miles away in Iraq.

"They can go online from anywhere as long as they have an internet connection they can do it from here in Lafayette or Fallujah down in Iraq if they need to."

Williams says young veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are the leaders of tomorrow. Unfortunately, this group is finding it increasingly difficult to find jobs.

"For our 18 to 24-year-old veterans, they have the highest unemployment rates right now and we can do better than that as a country."

Gregory Akers, member of the nationwide Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association came all the way from DeRidder just to show his support. He says America must make an investment in its veterans.

"If we can't honor them by helping them transition from the military to the civilian sector and help them get a job, what does this say for the sacrifices they've made?"

In addition to providing a degree, the University of Phoenix will soon have a military careers portal to connect veterans with employers.

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