TAMPA - The study lounge in the center of University of South Florida's campus boasts a toaster oven, a fridge and something else to make students feel welcome.
"For veterans, they feel that connection here. They know who's here studying," said Estevan Baza.
Baza served our country for seven years as a United States Marine right out of high school. He did a tour in Afghanistan and when he came back to school, he says, it was an adjustment.
"It was just getting out of the Marine Corps completely. That was more of a shocker, because you just left that world you were familiar with, and now you're in a brand new world," he said.
A new Veterans Achievement Center is helping Baza reconnect to civilian life. The 3,000 square foot space also has a computer lab and plenty of support.
“It's kind of like if you go away to school and you go home on the weekends or something. It's very comfortable. You automatically know more or less what the person's been through," said USF Junior Yahaira Pou.
Larry Braue knows too. USF's Director of Veterans Services is retired United States Army with 27 years of service.
"This is where I feel at home,” he said.
Braue says the new center is the foundation for a growing veteran student population nearing 1700 -- a population that has more than doubled at USF in three years.
"Now we have some other programs that we have in place now for mentoring programs for veterans to mentor within the community, help them network and help them look for jobs afterwards," said Braue.
Baza is working on his master's degree and like other veterans here agree their new home will make the next transition from school to a civilian job a little easier.
The Veterans Achievement Center was funded by a charity group called Birdies for the Brave Tampa Bay Foundation. The PGA Tour Charity Group supports men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.
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A brutal attack in broad daylight near a military barracks in London left one man dead and two suspects hospitalized Wednesday after a shootout with police. British Prime Minister David Cameron said the attack appeared to be terror related.