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Counseling Center, UC. VETERANS AND Military Personnel on Campus. Remember Me. Suggestion of Steve Frantz, MN. Today’s Presentation. Who are veterans and other military? What have they experienced? What is the transition process?

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remember me
Remember Me
  • Suggestion of Steve Frantz, MN
today s presentation
Today’s Presentation
  • Who are veterans and other military?
  • What have they experienced?
  • What is the transition process?
  • What can YOU do to be most effective?
who are they
Who are they?
  • Military Veterans
  • Military Reserve Components

1 weekend/4, 2 weeks/52

  • Reserves
  • National Guard
  • Inactive Duty
  • Family members
active duty demographics
Active Duty demographics
  • 1.5 million + in military
  • Primarily 19-30 year old men
  • enlisted average age 27, 85% male
  • officer corps average age 34, 84% male
  • Approx. 50% married
  • 43% have children (average number, 2)
  • Up to 52% dual service families
  • DOD 2004 Report
why are they in school
Why are they in school?
  • $ for college a motivator to join military
  • Improved GI benefits
  • Ohio Initiative—will it have an impact?
our uc students
*Our UC Students
  • Fall quarter 2009
  • Veterans = 516
  • Guard or Reserve =126

Registrar’s Office, UC

why uc
*Why UC?
  • Focus group 2008
  • Local, started here, family nearby
  • Specific academic programs
  • Credits for military experience, education, and courses
  • Veterans Advisory Committee report, 2009
military values
Military Values
  • Loyalty
  • Duty
  • Respect
  • Selfless Service
  • Honor
  • Integrity
  • Personal Courage
  • Mature
  • Clear and serious priorities
  • Confident
  • Courageous
  • Cross-cultural knowledge
  • Determined
  • Disciplined
  • Focused

Goal directed

  • Focused, sense of purpose, goal directed
  • Inner strength
  • Persevere
  • Problem solving skills
  • Responsible
  • Sense of purpose

Nice qualities to have

in your classroom??


Financial support, maturity, and experience all predict graduation

  • But veterans have higher attrition
  • What can we do to help them succeed ?
what have vets experienced
What have vets experienced?
  • “Stop loss” multiple tours of duty:

Serving 1-2 more tours of duty than

anticipated—some have 4-5 tours;

increased use of Reserves

and National Guard

260-280 days/year in conflict

WWII 40-60 days

tough realities of combat
“Tough Realities of Combat”
  • Fear is ubiquitous
  • Unit members will be injured and killed
  • Communications will break down
  • Leadership failures will be perceived
  • Combat poses moral and ethical challenges
  • Environment is harsh and demanding*
  • WRAIR Land Combat Study Team
harsh environment
*Harsh environment

Extreme heat

24 hour operations

Constant movement by ground or air

Crowded, uncomfortable living conditions

Limited downtime

Difficult communications

Center for Deployment Psychology, 2009

iraq and afghanistan
Iraq and Afghanistan
  • No front line
  • Highly ambiguous environment
  • Complex and changing missions

combat, peacekeeping, humanitarian

Center for Deployment Psychology, 2009


Prolonged stress

  • Improvised explosive devices
  • Women: sexual assault and harassment
  • Physical injury with high survival rate…90%+

6% current conflict vets are amputees

Physical and emotional trauma

iraq combat experiences
Iraq Combat Experiences
  • Seen dead bodies, remains 95%
  • Shot at 93%
  • Attacked or ambushed 89%
  • Know someone killed, injured 86%
  • Fired at enemy 77%
  • Hoge et al, NEJM 2004, reported in CDP 2009
transition military to school
Transition: Military to School
  • Moving In: why join, getting called up, serving overseas
  • Moving Through: combat duty, memorable experiences, earning credits
  • Moving Out: transition program, returning home, academic preparation
  • DiRamio et. al. NASPA Journal
deployment affects the whole family
Deployment Affects the Whole Family
  • Family roles, routines, communications
  • Loneliness
  • Finances
  • Fears
  • Children’s needs
college themes
College Themes
  • Connecting with peers
  • Blending In
  • Faculty
  • Campus vets office
  • Finances
  • Students with disabilities
  • Mental health and PTSD
  • DiRamio, NASPA Journal
homecoming a process over time
Homecoming:A Process Over Time
  • Military culture to civilian culture
  • Battlemind to Homemind (Schoolmind)
  • High school…military…college
  • Focus on mission—nothing else matters
  • Truly life or death
  • Constant adrenaline rush
  • Black or white, all or nothing
  • Sense of purpose, invincibility
  • Trust battle buddies only; others = threat
  • Need to control environment
  • Real problems and needs exist there
  • COL Kevin Gerdes Briefing, reported in CDP Training 2009
  • Life now unfocused and complex
  • No longer life and death
  • What can replace the “high”?
  • Things are not clear cut
  • Loss in sense of purpose
  • Can’t trust anybody
  • Can’t be in control of surroundings
  • Problems pale in comparison
  • COL Kevin Gerdes, 2008, reported in CDP 2009
  • Lost camaraderie
  • Lost institutionalization
  • Academic deficiencies
  • Not fitting in—maturity, political climate, feel isolated

Family readjustment

changed roles and responsibilities

spouse/partner may still be


balancing school, work, family



gap between benefits and expenses

unaware of benefits

not all classes or programs qualify

Even more of an issue for single mothers

  • Return to civilian life
  • Job may be gone
  • May have reduced income
  • May lose health care coverage
  • Loss of unit and military support for family
  • Lack of observation/ follow up to assess needs
  • Center for Deployment Psychology, 20009
channeling strengths
Channeling Strengths

Skills for survival in combat must shift, toward

  • Flexibility
  • React slower
  • Relax
  • Talk
  • Reduce alcohol
  • Show emotions
  • Negotiate
  • Forge new identity
  • Combat to Classroom
how do vets feel on campus focus group 2008 naspa
How do vets feel on campus?Focus group 2008 (NASPA)
  • Like other non-traditional students, but “severely non-traditional”
  • Transition to freedom of campus environment after years of orders
  • Annoyed with disorganization

Don’t want anything special

  • Want to be recognized, want faculty to care about them
  • Don’t want “liberal” faculty poking and prodding; harassment
  • Want to connect with others, but may not show friendliness
around deployments
Around deployments
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Military Reserve Component Student Activation Grading Policy
  • Instructor Awareness Form
  • “Person of Contact”
health and disability
Health and Disability
  • Physical injury and survival
  • Loss of limbs
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
traumatic brain injury tbi
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Blow, jolt, or penetrating injury that affects brain function
  • Mild to severe
  • Short to long term problems
  • CDP 2004 reported in CDP 2009
tbi symptoms
TBI Symptoms
  • Headaches, dizziness, tiredness, ringing in ears, blurred vision or tired eyes, sleep, balance
  • Sensitivity to sound, light, distractions
  • Memory, attention, concentration, organizing, decision-making, problem solving; slowed down
  • Irritability, anxiety, sadness, impulsivity
  • Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center , 2007; VA Hospital
mental health
Mental Health
  • At risk for combat stress reaction

and ptsd

  • Depression, anger, aggression, suicidal thoughts, self-blame, guilt, shame
combat stress reaction
Combat Stress Reaction
  • Perseverating on combat experiences
  • Nightmares or trouble sleeping
  • Angry, tense, jumpy
  • Feel futility
  • Trouble trusting
  • Symptoms last days or weeks, a normal response
  • Re-experiencing thru nightmares, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts and memories
  • Avoidance feeling numb, detached, estranged; avoid reminders
  • On edge trouble relaxing, sleeping, hyper-vigilant, irritable, startle easily
  • May have delayed onset

Recognize possible ptsd, tbi, other difficulties and use existing resources

  • Consult with Counseling Center
  • Refer to DSO for accommodations
  • Classroom management, UJA
campus resources
Campus resources
  • Vets advisor, Transfer and Lifelong Learning, Registrar’s Office
  • Counseling Center
  • Disability Services Office
  • Learning Assistance Center
  • University Judicial Affairs
  • Campus Ministry
  • Women’s Center
  • Dean’s Office
counseling center web resources
Counseling Center Web resources
vet2vet crisis hotline 1 877 838 2838
Vet2Vet Crisis Hotline1-877-838-2838

Cincinnati VA Hospital—OEF/OIF Clinic

primary care

mental health services

military sexual trauma

case management

recommended reading
Recommended Reading)

The Good Soldiers

David Finkel

  • President Bush announced “the surge” in January 2007. David Finkel accompanied the army infantry soldiers of the 2-16 (the Rangers) for 15 months in Iraq, reporting their story.

Final Salute: A Story of Unfinished Lives

Jim Sheeler

  • Sheeler follows the experiences of several military men and their families through the work of Major Steve Beck, a Marine who specializes in helping the bereaved. Based on a Pulitzer prize-winning report.

Coppola: A Pediatric Surgeon in Iraq

Chris Coppola

  • Dr. Chris Coppola’s had two tours of duty as a US Air Force surgeon in Iraq. Trained as a pediatric surgeon, he treated wounded soldiers (both US and Iraqi) and children, setting aside his personal beliefs about the war.

From Soldier to Student: Easing the Transition of Service Members on Campus

  • American Council on Education, 2009
  • Center for Deployment Psychology workshop materials 2009:
  • DOD 2004 Report
  • WRAIR Land Combat Study
  • Defense and Veterans Brain Injury
  • Center (Walter Reed Army Medical
  • Center);

Hoges, C.W. et. al. (2004). Combat duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, mental health problems, and barriers to care. New England Journal of Medicine, 351: 13-22.

  • DiRamio, D. et. a. (2008). From combat to campus: Voices of student-veterans. NASPA Journal, 45, pp. 73-102.
  • Myles, C. (20080. From combat to classroom; transitions of modern warriors.
counseling center
Counseling Center
  • Confidential counseling for UC students – individual and group
  • Free walk-in urgent care services during business hours
  • Consultation with faculty, staff, family, and friends concerned about a student
  • Workshops and presentations – stress management, communication, relationships and balancing demands, and other life-enhancing topics

316 Dyer Hall (513) 556-0648