Meet Dan W.

Veterans Resource and Outreach Center coordinator

“In the Armed Services we are taught to have each other’s backs, and that is what we will continue to do here at Hudson Valley’s VET-ROC.”

As a student in the Criminal Justice program back in 2011 to 2013, Dan Wargo probably never envisioned he’d be back at Hudson Valley Community College ten years later.

But after serving as a United States Marine for eight years and seeing Iraq, Afghanistan, Okinawa and many points around the globe in between, Dan has brought his years of military experience to his role as the newly-appointed coordinator of the college’s Veterans Resource and Outreach Center (VET-ROC).

Dan Wargo during deploymentThe VET-ROC is the first office on campus that deals exclusively with student veteran issues. Importantly, it also houses Rensselaer County’s PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Program, which offers peer-to-peer counseling for veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or Traumatic Brain Injury, and provides guidance for veterans looking to reintegrate into civilian society. The Dwyer Program, named after a US Army medic who struggled with PTSD following his deployment, began in Suffolk County in 2012 and has since been duplicated in counties around the state.

Dan’s goal with the Dwyer Program, and in his role as a point of contact for all military-related activities on campus, can be summed up with the phrase, “Veterans serving veterans.”

“I hope to bring perspective to combat veterans suffering from PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries,” said Dan. “When dealing with these issues, it’s often more effective for veterans to speak to someone who has been in situations that are potentially similar. My goal here at the college is to make this office an all-inclusive, one-stop shop for anything related to veteran services, both on and off campus.”

A 2011 graduate of Shaker High School, Dan attended Hudson Valley through 2013 before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. “Joining the Marines was a simple decision for me,” he said. “It was about the rich history, the uniforms and being a part of ‘America’s Finest Fighting Force’.”

After being stationed in Camp Lejeune from 2013 to 2017, Dan deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan as a Joint Fires Observer with 2D Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company. In 2018, he deployed to Okinawa, with 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion and he finished deploying in 2020 with 2nd Battalion 7th Marines, Fox Company in Camp Shorab, Afghanistan (Camp Bastion – Leatherneck) as the Company Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC). After rotating out of Afghanistan, he transferred to the Baghdad Embassy Compound in Iraq to serve as the resident JTAC.

“Looking back at my time in the Marine Corps, there were a lot of great memories with now lifelong friends,” said Dan. “No matter what branch of the Armed Services, we are taught to have each other’s backs, and that is what we will continue to do here at Hudson Valley’s VET-ROC.”