Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington has announced plans to create a new Veterans Support Center designed to meet the needs of students who have served in the military.

A $6,400 grant from the Home Depot Foundation, the charitable arm of the nationwide home-improvement retailer, will go to Northwestern's Students Serving Veterans club and will be used to offset some of the costs of the new center, to be built in the lower level of the Wolfe-Harris Center for Excellence on the Bloomington campus.

It's hoped the center will be a place where veterans can communicate with others with similar backgrounds. Angela Thomsen, a chiropractic student who serves in the Army National Guard, helped complete the grant application as president of Northwestern's Students Serving Veterans club.

The grant is one of 50 that the Home Depot Foundation provided to student veterans' groups at colleges and universities nationwide. The Northwestern grant will help furnish the new center with tables, chairs, couches, bookshelves and electronic devices. Northwestern expects to open the center on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. James McCloden, a senior admissions counselor, chairman of Northwestern's Veterans Task Force and an Army veteran, will serve as director for the new center.

Northwestern offers a 20 percent tuition discount to veterans, can cover additional costs as a veteran-friendly Yellow Ribbon School, and has created a military leave of absence policy.

Veterans at the school also have organized "Feed 'Em and Treat 'Em" events for veterans to try chiropractic, massage, acupuncture and other treatments to address pain, often caused by injuries they suffered during their military service.

Northwestern's 130-plus faculty members annually teach about 6,500 students pursuing degrees and continuing education in accredited programs in chiropractic, acupuncture, therapeutic massage, nutrition and other health treatments.

Mark Brunswick • 612-673-4434