Veterans need support not only from the University, but from fellow veterans who can understand the transition from warrior to student.
LOYALTY. SACRIFICE. DUTY. FRIENDSHIP. Never leave a fallen warrior behind. These words and phrases describe the nearly 100 veteran soldiers among the 7,859 students currently attending Adelphi.
But the average coffee drinker in the Underground Café wouldn’t guess the man or woman across from them has been deployed multiple times or seen combat far too up close and personal.
Sometimes anonymity is a choice, but in other instances veterans choose introversion because of pride. According to Gregory Clarke ’13, the 2012–2013 president of the Adelphi chapter of Student Veterans of America (SVA), it’s important that pride doesn’t get in the way of accessing benefits they may not be aware of and are in the right to obtain. (Kathleen Rickard is the current SVA chapter president.)
“When coupled with the visible and invisible wounds of war, a college degree can be an elusive goal for men and women returning from military service. …Challenges range from a missing sense of camaraderie or feeling like an outsider among 18-year-old traditional students, to a lack of understanding by university faculty,” the SVA website states.
Adelphi’s University College, is here to help with such issues, but it needs active members to be considered an official group and move forward with its goals.
“SVA needs to thrive [at Adelphi] because veterans need support not only from the University itself, but from fellow veterans who can uniquely understand the transition from warrior to student,” Mr. Clarke said.
“By getting involved with SVA, veterans have an opportunity to provide—at the very least—an understanding ear to fellow soldiers who may be struggling not only academically, but socially. I am an Iraq veteran myself and I can attest to the pride we feel and how that makes us, at times, unwilling to ask for help,” he said. “But I am hopeful that in an organization where most of us have been through combat, veterans will be more willing to seek help.”
As the group continues to grow, they plan to assist veterans by educating the faculty and staff they’re surrounded by about issues unique to veteran families and single soldiers.Through this education, University workers will be able to directly help or refer veterans and soldiers to the correct venues so they can be better integrated into the college community. More information can be found at studentveterans.org.Adapted from an article by Jordan Chapman in the Spring 2013 University College E-Newsletter
More Info for Veterans
For more information on Adelphi’s Yellow Ribbon Program and other benefits and services for students from the military, visit university- college.adelphi.edu/admissions/military.
To learn about Adelphi’s new Veteran Resource Center in the Hagedorn Hall of Enterprise, go to admissions.adelphi.edu/military/veteran-resource-center.
This piece appeared in the Spring 2014 Issue of the Transfer Student Newsletter.
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