LAFAYETTE — The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is offering an orientation for veterans interested in educational options available through the Veterans Upward Bound program at 8:30 a.m. Saturday in DeClouet Hall, 110 Hebrard Blvd.

The Veterans Upward Bound program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and provides academic and support services to veterans who are physically disabled or economically or educationally disadvantaged.

During the orientation, U.S. Army veterans Elward Gardner and Ken Carmouche will share with a group of about 40 prospective students their stories of returning to college.

Gardner, 62, was named an outstanding graduate at the university in 2002 when he earned a degree in industrial technology. A Vietnam War veteran, Gardner started on his degree after working 17 years in the oil and gas industry.

Carmouche, 51, plans to complete his bachelor’s degree in economics in the fall. The former U.S. Army Ranger retired in 2007 from the U.S. Postal Service.

“They are role models for other veterans who want to expand their education,” Sidney Mitchell, UL-Lafayette Veterans Upward Bound coordinator, said in a news release. “Not only have they served in the military, they undertook a challenging academic journey that has taken them from boot camp to books and from combat to the classroom.”