Veteran Students

Links to Websites l Homecoming is a Process l Combat Stress l Self-Care Checklist

 

VSU Office of Veteran’s Affairs -  http://www.valdosta.edu/admissions/financial-aid/veterans-affairs/

After Deployment -  http://afterdeployment.t2.health.mil/

Wellness resources for the military community.

Georgia Department of Labor- Veteran’s Assistance -  http://www.dol.state.ga.us/js/find_vet_info.htm

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) is dedicated to serving veterans and their spouses. GDOL staff can assist with finding work; transitioning into the workforce; building career skills; credentialing military experience and training; and accessing state and federal veterans’ services.

House Committee on Veteran’s Affairs -  http://veterans.house.gov/

The House Committee on Veteran's Affairs reviews veterans programs, examines current laws, and reports bills and amendments to strengthen existing laws concerning veterans and the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA), such as health care, disability compensation, GI Bill education and job training, home loan guarantees, life insurance policies, and a nationwide system of veterans cemeteries.

Injured Veterans -  http://www.injuredveterans.com/

Injured Veterans is a nationwide law firm that represents our country’s heroes in their claims for disability benefits.

Senate Committee on Veteran’s Affairs -  http://www.veterans.senate.gov/

The Veteran's Affairs committee was created in 1970 to transfer responsibilities for veterans from the Finance and Labor committees to a single panel. From 1947 to 1970, matters relating to veterans compensation and veterans generally were referred to the Committee on Finance, while matters relating to the vocational rehabilitation, education, medical care, civil relief, and civilian readjustment of veterans were referred to the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare.

National Center for PTSD -  http://www.ptsd.va.gov/

The National Center for PTSD is dedicated to research and education on trauma and PTSD. We work to assure that the latest research findings help those exposed to trauma.

PTSD Support for Veterans -  http://maketheconnection.net/conditions/ptsd

Hear honest and candid descriptions from Veterans of what life was like for them with PTSD. A variety of Veterans—men and women, younger and older—share their emotions, actions, and symptoms; how they learned they had PTSD; and what they did to get on a path to recovery.

PTSD Among U.S. Veterans - http://www.rntobsn.org/resources/ptsd/

The effects of war have particular causes and effects for PTSD sufferers. All soldiers in wartime must adapt to the constant stressors of war, and their ability to successfully do so can depend on contextual and cultural variables unique to each soldier.

Supporting Student Veterans -  http://www.military.com/education/gi-bill/veterans-educational-assistance-program-veap.html

ACE Veterans Programs promote access to and success in higher education for the more than 2 million service members and their families who are eligible for benefits under the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008.

U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs -  http://www.va.gov/

The establishment of the Veterans Administration came in 1930 when Congress authorized the President to "consolidate and coordinate Government activities affecting war veterans."

Veterans and PTSD -  http://www.injuredveterans.com/

Veterans statistics: PTSD, Depression, TBI, Suicide.

Veteran’s Education Center -  http://www.legion.org/education

The American Legion is synonymous with veterans education, being instrumental in the first and most recent GI Bill's passage and helping the modern-day veteran navigate the confusing world of education benefits.

Veteran’s Educational Assistance Program -  http://www.military.com/education/gi-bill/veterans-educational-assistance-program-veap.html

VEAP is an educational assistance program that is available if you elect to make contributions from your military pay to participate in this education benefit program. The following is a summary of the VEAP.

 

Homecoming is a Process

Homecoming is a process, not an event. Whether returning from active combat or Homeland Security missions, the return to a university atmosphere from active duty is almost always a severe shock to the system.

It may feel strange to return to school to find that others are going through their everyday motions, while you just returned from a life-altering experience. Relationships change quickly, and many old friends may have graduated or moved on when you return. Readjustment means overcoming obstacles and making small but important changes. A vital change for the returning veteran is allowing yourself to relax and be more patient with those around you.

 

 

Each individual will experience their own obstacles. Some of these may include:

  • combat stress reactions
  • boredom, missing the thrill or adrenaline that's not part of the usual college experience.
  • low frustration tolerance or impatience. Rules may seem meaningless, and simple questions or comments may cause unexpected reactions.
  • frustration over missed or lost time due to length of deployment.
  • difficulty concentrating, including recurring thoughts of war experiences or anxiety around finding meaning in activities.
  • high alertness, difficulty relaxing or finding safety in your current environment.
  • feeling out of place or having difficulty developing new relationships. You may find it very hard to feel close to others or connect with people who haven't gone through the same experiences as you.
  • anxiety about being redeployed.

Combat Stress

Combat Stress is a normal set of reactions to a trauma such as war. When feelings or issues related to the trauma are not dealt with, they can lead to problems readjusting to community life. A delayed stress reaction may surface after many years and include some or all of the following problems:

  • anger, irritability, and rage
  • feeling nervous
  • depression
  • difficulty trusting others
  • feeling guilt over acts committed or witnessed, failing to prevent certain events, or merely having survived while others did not
  • hyper alertness and startle reactions
  • feeling grief or sadness
  • having thoughts and memories that will not go away
  • isolation and alienation from others
  • loss of interest in pleasurable activities
  • low tolerance to stress
  • problems with authority
  • problems feeling good about oneself
  • nightmares
  • substance abuse
  • trouble sleeping
  • anxiety
  • paranoia

Self-Care Checklist

  • Be cautious about taking a heavy course load initially. Ease into it, and try not to overwhelm yourself.
  • Take notes to help you stay focused on course materials and lectures.
  • Get involved in school activities as a way to break down barriers between you and your classmates.
  • Take advantage of school services available to you, including academic assistance and counseling services.
  • Talk to the Veterans Representative in the Office of the Registrar to utilize your veterans benefits: call 475-7540.
  • Limit exposure to traumatic information (including watching news, reading the paper, etc.).
  • Talk with peers and/or professionals.
  • Recognize that others may not agree with you or understand your service in the military.
  • Take care of your physical needs. Get plenty of sleep and rest, eat a good diet (at least 3 nutritious meals a day), and get exercise (physical exercise is great in reducing stress).
  • Decrease unhealthy behaviors such as using alcohol, nicotine, or illegal substances.
  • Have fun! Engage in healthy, pleasurable activities.
  • Focus outside of yourself and give back to the community (volunteer work, etc.).
  • Seek spiritual fulfillment through prayer, meditation, fellowship, etc.
  • Follow a daily schedule to help yourself stay organized.
  • Set reasonable boundaries for yourself.
  • Pay attention to your reaction to things that happen in ordinary life situations. Learn to recognize the physical and emotional signs of stress.
  • Visit the Counseling Center!

Information above obtained from the Counseling and Mental Health Center at the University of Texas- Austin