Student Veterans by wuzhenguang


									    Virginia Commonwealth University

                        USS RAMS
University Support Services for Returning and Active Military Students
          An initiative to support student veterans

   Program development funded by the Aurora Foundation
   ( and the Virginia
                  Wounded Warriors Program

   For more information contact: Veterans@VCU.EDU
 Modeled on the “Safe Zone” program, volunteers in the
  Green Zone program receive training about issues
  potentially facing student veterans. They then agree to
  display the Green Zone sticker outside their office doors
  to let others know they are available to provide support
  and information about resources for student veterans,
  active service military students and their family members.


 With proper attribution, you are free to modify and use
  these powerpoint slides for the training of volunteers as
    you develop your own ‘Green Zone’ program.
       “Green Zone”
A location recognized by veterans as a
              safe place

   Training Outline
Who is a Green Zone
  Staff and faculty who identify themselves
    as someone who knows something about the issues
     and concerns faced by student veterans/active
     military students
    as someone who is available to assist the veteran
  They are NOT expected to be experts who can
   “solve” the problems
    a sympathetic ear
    someone who can help the student find the
     appropriate resources for problem resolution.
Commonly Used Terms
  Active Service Members (ASM)
    Generic term which encompasses Active Duty,
     National Guard, and Reserves personnel
  Veteran
    Any individual who served in the U.S. military
  OEF- Operation Enduring Freedom
    War in Afghanistan
  OIF- Operation Iraqi Freedom
    War in Iraq

Who is a Student
Veteran/Active Service
Member (ASM)?
  Student Veterans and ASMs are a diverse group
   of individuals. They are:
      From all branches of the military
      Range in age, race/ethnicity, and gender
      Have served during times of war and peace
      Have different education goals
      More likely to have families

Student Veterans/ASMs-
on Campus
   [Insert information about numbers, age,
    race/ethnicity, gender, majors, and other
    information about veterans and active
    service military students on your campus
    that may be of interest to your volunteers]

The Military

Military Experience
[your state] Statistics
 [insert data about numbers of individuals
    deployed in your state, region, local area
    to provide participants with some sense
    of the potential pool of veterans who
    could be attending your institution.]

Military Experience

  Separation from family or loved ones
    Most are leaving home for the first time
    Separation from extended family and close friends
    Separation from boyfriends and girlfriends
  Relocate away from family and friends
    May be assigned to a base in a different part of the
    Adjustments to new climates and culture

Military Experience
  Deployments last from 6-18 months
  Multiple deployments
       Some serve more than one deployment before
        being discharged from the military
             Over 350,000 have experienced two or more
  Emotional Cycle of Deployment:
       Pre-Deployment, Deployment, Sustainment, Re-
        Deployment, Post-Deployment

 ***(Savych, 2009)                                        11
Emotional Cycle of
                           Anticipation of loss vs Denial                          Deployment
                            Train-up/long hours away                          Mixed emotions/relief
                              Getting affairs in order                       Disoriented/overwhelmed
                             Mental/physical distance                           Numb, sad, alone
                                     Arguments                                   Sleep difficulties
                                                                                 Security issues

                  Honeymoon period                                                        Sustainment
                 Loss of independence                                                    New routines established
                 Need for “own” space                                                    New sources of support
                 Renegotiating routines               Redeployment                         Feel more in control
                Reintegration into family            Anticipation of homecoming               Independence
                                                              Excitement                Confidence: “I can do this!”
                                                      Burst of energy/”nesting”
                                                     Difficulty making decisions

*** (Franklin, 2009)
Emotional Cycle of Deployment:

  Training with long hours away
        Spending more time in the field to prepare for deployment
        Separation from family and friends before deployment
  Getting affairs in order
        Preparing a living will and assigning a power of attorney
  National Guard and Reservists
        Added stress during semester due to anticipation of
        May be called to duty while enrolled in classes
        Having to file paperwork to withdraw from classes and stop
         G.I. Bill payments

 *** (Franklin, 2009)                                                 13
Emotional Cycle of Deployment:
   Adjusting to being in a combat zone, on a ship, or
   Adjusting to new climate, terrain, and language
   Dealing with emotions regarding separation from
    family, friends, and partners
   Maintaining a strong sense of awareness
         Hypervigilance
   Must maintain some level of emotional control
         May not be able to react immediately to loss/trauma but are
          encouraged to deal with loss/trauma while deployed and upon
 *** (Franklin, 2009)                                               14
Emotional Cycle of Deployment:
    Persistent hypervigilance and arousal
    Sleep deprivation- fatigue
    Periods of intense boredom
    Some have experienced
          Firefights
          Buddies wounded or killed
          RPGs: Rocket Propelled Grenades
          IEDs: Improvised Explosive Devices
          Car bombs
          Suicide bombings
          Crowd control

 ***(Hoge et al., 2004)
Emotional Cycle of Deployment:
  Homecoming
        The “honeymoon” stage is when first returning home to family
         and friends
        Difficult adjustment phase for both ASM and family
              Family has adapted to life without ASM and now has to re-
               establish roles
        Adaptive behaviors for war are maladaptive at home
              Aggressive driving = Road Rage
              Tactical Awareness = Hypervigilance
        Develop a “New Normal”
              Adjusting to life after it has changed
        Dealing with the emotions of war

 *** (Franklin, 2009)                                                      16
Emotional Cycle of Deployment:
Family members/Dependents

  Family members or dependents of
   Veterans/ASM may need support too
    They may be experiencing
      Separation from a loved one
      Difficulty concentrating
      Difficulty transitioning
      Difficulty adjusting to role changes
      Loss or injuries of a loved one

Transitioning from
Base to Campus

Transition Strengths
  Veterans/ASMs transitioning out of the military onto
   college campuses bring a unique perspective
       Military training
       Life experience
       Established Identity
       A more worldly view
  Skills taught in the military help students to be
       Leadership
       Motivation
       Time Management
       Work Ethic
       Stress Management
Transition Difficulties
  Issues that may arise during the transition process
   can become barriers to success
     Difficulty translating their military skills into a new profession
     Difficulty switching gears with a new focus that is unrelated to
      military experience
     Military skills & training may not translate into college credits
     Universities may have difficulty deciphering transfer credits for
      those who have started and stopped higher education at
      multiple institutions
     Difficulty using the GI Bill
         Late fees due to late payment of VA Benefits
         Late payment can prevent them from registering for
          classes, applying for graduation, and receiving transcripts
Transition Difficulties
  Being an older student
     Freshman 20+ years old with 18 year old classmates
  Living off campus
     Feeling isolated from classmates
  Alienation
     Veterans/ASMs may find it difficult to integrate on campus
      because their life experiences within the military differ
      significantly from most other students and faculty.
  Insensitivity of classmates, faculty, and others on
   campus in regards to discussion of war and military
     Veterans/ASMs may not agree with discussions or may feel attacked
      when asked about their experience

Transition Difficulties

  Things to keep in mind about Student
   Veterans in the classroom:
       Some may
          Have difficulty relating to classmates
          Find loud noises to be disturbing
          Become anxious with changes in the
          Have excessive absences
          Have PTSD or TBI                         22
 ***(Pfeffer, 2010)
Considering the Needs of Student
Veterans with Disabilities

  It is estimated that 23% to 31% of Veterans/ASM
   of OIF/OEF have PTSD symptoms and 20% have
   mild TBIs. Some of those are coming to our
       New Disability
             Student Veterans/ASMs may be experiencing a disability
              for the first time in their life
                 May be unaware of services on campus for persons
                   with an identified disability
       May not want to identify as having a disability
             May not want to disclose problems because of stigma
             Identification of disability may have implications for future in
              the military for those who are still active service members
 *** (Jones, Young, & Leppma, 2010; Thomas et al., 2010)
Post-Traumatic Stress
Disorder (PTSD)

  PTSD occurs after an individual has seen
   or experienced a traumatic event that
   involved the threat of injury or death
  PTSD is experienced by some, but
   certainly not all Student Veterans/ASMs
      Have some knowledge of PTSD, BUT do not
       expect that every Student Veteran/ASM will
       have these symptoms

 ***(American Psychiatric Association, 2000)
PTSD Symptoms
 Repeated "reliving" of the event, which disturbs
  day-to-day activity
      Flashback episodes, where the event seems to be
       happening again and again
 Avoidance
   Emotional "numbing," or feeling as though
    you do not care about anything
 Arousal
      Excess awareness (hypervigilance)

 ***(American Psychiatric Association, 2000)
PTSD in the Classroom

  They may
    Sit in the back of the classroom so they can
     have a clear view of everything around them
    Be easily startled by noises (pens dropping,
     shuffling in a backpack, whispering or other
     noises from classmates)
    Be withdrawn from class discussion
    Have difficulty maintaining emotional control
     during difficult topics
Post-Traumatic Stress

  Remember: although many
   Veterans/ASMs may have stressful or
   traumatic experiences, not all develop
   Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  A blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head
   injury that disrupts the function of the brain.
       Severity of injury can vary
          Mild: brief change in mental status or consciousness
          Severe: extended period of unconsciousness or
           amnesia after the injury

  Some, but certainly not all Student Veterans,
   may have experienced a TBI
       Have some knowledge of TBI, BUT do not expect
        that all Student Veterans/ASMs will have
        experienced a TBI
  ***(, 2010)
Traumatic Brain Injury
  Combat experience is one of the main risk factors for
   sustaining a TBI
      Exposure to blasts through explosions and roadside bombs
  Improvements in body armor and helmets have
   increased the occurrence of TBI
      Likelihood of survival from blasts due to sophisticated
       equipment, unlike from previous wars
  TBI often goes undiagnosed because symptoms
   may not appear until weeks later
      Especially emotional or personality changes which are difficult
       for strangers to identify
      Difficult to differentiate between TBI and PTSD because they
       have several overlapping symptoms

 ***(, 2010)
TBI Symptoms
  Cognition
       Motor/Sensory Disturbances
       Impairments in:
               Language
               Communication
               Attention
               Concentration
               Memory
               Learning New Information
               Speed of Information Processing
               Judgment
               Decision-Making
               Problem-Solving
               Insight
 ***(, 2010)
TBI Symptoms

  Mood                                 Behavior
         Apathy/Depression                 Lack of Initiation
         Anxiety                           Disinhibition
         Irritability                      Impulsivity
         Emotional Liability               Restlessness
         Insensitivity                     Aggression
         Egocentricity                     Agitation

 ***(, 2010)
TBI in the Classroom

  They may
    Have difficulty expressing themselves
     (tongue tied)
    Show restless behaviors
      Example: Constant fidgeting and tapping pens or feet
    Show inappropriate reactions to discussion
      Example: Becoming aggressive, easily irritated,
       agitated, or insensitive to others in the classroom
    Be withdrawn or not participating in class
     discussion                                              32
Other Wounds of War

  Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)
      A spinal cord injury occurs when trauma or disease
       damages the spinal cord and results in partial or
       complete paralysis
  Military Sexual Trauma (MST)
      Includes sexual assault, sexual threats, bullying,
       and unwanted touching or grabbing that
       occurred while in the military

 ***(Spinal Cord Injuries, 2010; VA MST, 2010)
Considering the Needs of Student
Veterans with Disabilities

  What the Green Zone volunteers should know:
    Do not ask or suggest that the Student
     Veteran/ASM has a disability, but inquire about the
     issues they are experiencing to better provide the
     appropriate resources
    Become familiar with information provided by the
     students with disabilities support office on campus for
     those who may request such services
       Students may need extra help navigating the system and
        understanding what help is available to them
       Provide the student with contact information if requested
        for office serving students with disabilities
       Assist in making an appointment, if needed
Considering the Needs of Student
Veterans with Disabilities
  Services on Campus

  [insert information about services for students
   with disabilities on your campus]

Easing the Transition
  Have an open dialogue about frustrations
  Discuss career goals
  Provide them with information about various
   services and resources available as seems

     [list offices that provide services for veterans on your
      campus and in your community]

  Remember that each student is unique in their

Suggested Questions To Ask The
Veteran In Front Of You
    Express appreciation for their service
    What branch of service
    How long they were in the military
    What was your job or specialty
    How many deployments
      When, where, how long
    How has your experience at the university been
    Could you be called back to active duty
    Can you still be deployed
    Do not ask if they have killed someone
    Do not ask how they were injured
Questions To Ask The
Veteran In Front Of You
             THE WAR.

          JUST LISTEN
Easing the Transition
  What Student Veterans want faculty to know:
        “We are having normal reactions to an abnormal experience.”
        “No two veterans are alike.”
        “Each of us has had different experiences.”
        “Do Not assume that you know my politics or beliefs just because
         I was in the military.”
        “I may or may not be ready to talk about my experiences.”
        “Trust can be an issue for me.”
        “Being friendly and listening can go a long way toward building
        “Do Not be afraid of me.”
        “We are accustomed to being successful and may be too proud to
         ask for help.”
 ***(Pfeffer, 2010)
Things to Remember
  Students veterans are a unique population with
   different experiences.
  There are numerous ways to help Student
   Veterans/ASM just as there are for other
   student populations.
  Developing trust with this population is
  Following-up with the Student Veterans/ASM
   and carrying out what you say you will do is
Discussion instructions
 the following slides present various scenarios
   developed from “real life” experiences of
   student veterans on campus. After each
   scenario is a slide that presents options of how
   a volunteer might respond. These options
   should be reviewed and modified to fit with
   resources on your campus.
 In the training, participants are put into small
   groups to discuss each scenario and how they
   might respond; after the group discussion, the
   response option slides are reviewed. The
   discussions are enhanced by the inclusion of
   student veterans in each group.

  Scenario
    A Student Veteran approaches you because
     she is struggling in her classes. She goes to
     class every day, takes notes, and allots time
     each day to study. She feels frustrated
     because no matter how much time she puts
     into it, she is not getting the grades she
    How do you help her?
    Ask the veteran if she has always had difficulties with school work, or if
     this is new for her
    Assist the veteran in searching for classroom help
       Tell her about the Learning and Writing Centers
              Learning Center has one-on-one tutoring & supplemental instruction sessions
       Ask her if she is in a study group or would want to join one
       Recommend talking to her instructor or T.A.
    If she acknowledges that she has a disability, ask if she has gone to the
     Disability Support Services Office to see if she is eligible for
    Suggest peer mentoring
    Have a discussion about her well being
       Is she sleeping and eating well?
    Have a discussion about her academic success and implications for her
     GI Bill


  Scenario
    A Reservist sees the “Green Zone” sticker
     on your door and comes in because she has
     received orders for a week long training that
     will occur during the middle of the semester.
     She has an exam during that week and her
     professor states in the syllabus that there
     are absolutely no make-up exams.


  Inform the student that she must provide
   documentation of her orders to the professor
   as soon as she receives them
  Encourage her to talk to her professor
  Encourage her to meet with her
  Review the policy related to attendance and
   short-term military training


  Scenario
    A student comes to your office because he
     is experiencing problems with his G.I. Bill.
     Because of his unpaid tuition, there is a hold
     on his account and he is unable to register
     for classes he needs to graduate.

  Encourage him to go to Student Accounting to
   discuss his situation
  Encourage him to talk to the Veteran
   Certification Office
  Encourage him to talk to his academic/faculty
   to see if they could hold a spot in the
   classroom for him


  Scenario
    A student Reservist comes to your office and
     is anticipating being deployed. He is unsure
     whether it will be before the end of the
     semester and is unaware of how he should

  Review with the student the university policy regarding
   options for activity duty military students who are
  Encourage him to talk to his academic/faculty and
     Discuss options for incomplete grades
     Discuss available online courses
     Discuss completing work early
  Military Withdraw or Military Incompletes are available
   and need to be taken care of before he leaves

Discussion Continued
 Talk with the ASM about the upcoming deployment

    Discuss his or her fears and hopes of the deployment
    Understand that the ASM is under a lot of pressure and time
        It may seem more important to faculty members to discuss
         withdrawing from classes, but remember the ASM is
         preparing for war
             There are other things that take greater importance

 Stay in contact with the student to assure he receives
  the assistance he needs

  Scenario
    A Student Veteran comes to your office to
     discuss her GPA. When deployed, she did
     not withdraw from classes and received
     failing grades. Since restarting school and
     no longer being in the military, she has
     consistently received good grades but due to
     the past, her GPA is affecting her financial
     aid status.

  Encourage her to talk to Financial Aid
  Encourage her to talk to her
  Encourage her to learn about the appeals
  If needed, help her draft an appeals letter


  Scenario
    A Student Veteran comes to you because he
     is frustrated about his classes. The material
     he is learning is exactly what he learned
     while he was in the military. He does not
     understand why he has to repeat the course.
    What do you do?

  Empathize with his frustrations
  Treat this student like any other advisee who has come
   to you with an issue
  Explain the advantages of already having the
   experience and knowledge
  Explain how he can help others in his class and take a
   leadership role
  Ask questions about his major and experience in the
  Help him schedule an appointment with his

  Scenario
    A Student Veteran comes to you because he
     feels very alone on campus. He was use to
     being constantly surrounded by individuals
     who share his goals and values. Since he
     has come to campus, he has not met
     anyone like that. He feels isolated and
    How do you help this student?
  Inform him of what resources are available on campus
  Help link the Veteran to other Veterans
     Student Veteran Association, and Veteran Certification Office
         Introducing the Veteran to other Student Veterans may allow him to
          develop a social network on campus.
  Ask the Veteran what interests him or her
     Suggest joining student groups on campus that have similar
  Follow-up with student


  Scenario
    A Student Veteran sees the “Green Zone”
     sticker on your door and decides to stop in
     to chat. She is having difficulty deciding on a
     major. She has a lot of skills from her
     military experience but is not sure she wants
     to stay on that path.
    How do you help her?

    Under the G.I. Bill requirements, Student Veterans must declare a major
     within two semesters, which may cause additional stress
    Listen to Student and ask questions about her military training
    Ask what she enjoyed the most; encourage her think about whether or not
     she is interested in transitioning those skills into her education and future
    Ask her “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?”
    Suggest to her the Career Center on campus
    Many websites have been created to assist veterans in translating their
     military skills to civilian jobs


  Scenario
    A Student Veteran comes to you for his
     scheduled academic advising appointment.
     During the session he mentions that he did
     two tours in Iraq.
    How do you respond?

  Show interest
  If the Veteran wants to talk about his experience, listen
   and provide a safe environment to the student.
     Listening to the Veteran can go a long way toward building
  If you have limited time to be with the Veteran,
   express your interest in his service and set up another
   appointment to further discuss his experiences
     Ask how his experiences may be helping or hindering his
      student experience
     Remember that every situation is going to be different


  Scenario
    A Student Veteran comes to you because he
     is nearly on academic probation. He has
     trouble getting to class because it is a
     struggle for him to get out of bed most days.
    How do you help him?

  Have an open dialogue about the classes that he can
   not wake up for
     It may simply be that he does not have an interest in the classes
      and can not wake up for them
     Is he struggling with these same issues in other areas of his life?
  Discuss with the student the Wellness Center and
   Student Health
  Provide information about available resources
  Encourage student to meet with his academic/faculty
  Follow up with the Veteran/ASM to see how he is doing


  Scenario
    A Student Veteran who has a spinal cord
     injury comes to your office. He read in his
     syllabus that special accommodations can
     be made for students who have a disability.
     He currently does not have any issues in his
     classes but wants more information on how
     they can help him in the future.
    How do you help him?

  Provide resources to Disability Support
  Help him schedule an appointment, if


Resources on Campus

  [list resources and contact information that are
   available on campus to assist students]

Veterans Administration
 GI Bill
   [put website for GI bill information for your
   Provides the veteran with information regarding his or
    her tuition assistance benefits

   [list any state-level resources]

VA Resources

  Veteran Administration Website
    Student Veterans need their DD-214 forms
    List of VA hospitals and community outreach
    Connects Veterans to health benefits
      5 year eligibility for no-cost health care for
       conditions related to service
      Mental health treatment
      Vet Centers for outpatient mental health treatment68
Veteran Associations
 Wounded Warrior Project
   Mission “To honor and empower wounded
 Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
   Its mission is to "honor the dead by helping
    the living" through veterans' service,
    community service, national security and a
    strong national defense
Veteran Associations

  Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
    Providing assistance, advocacy, educations,
     and support to veterans of both conflicts
  Disabled Veterans Association
    DAV is an advocacy group that helps ensure
     that active duty and veterans receive the
     benefits and compensations that were
     guaranteed to them when they enlisted
Community Resources

 List any local community resources here

PTSD Resources
  The National Center for PTSD
  After Deployment is a mental wellness
   resource guide for soldiers.
  PTSD and Women

TBI Resources
  Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center
  National Center for Injury Prevention and
   Control information on TBI
  Soldiers with Traumatic Brain Injury brochure

SCI Resources

  VA Spinal Cord Injury
  National Spinal Cord Injury Association

Substance Abuse Resources
    National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

    Alcoholics Anonymous

    National Institute on Drug Abuse

    National Clearinghouse on Alcohol and Drug Information

    Army Center for Substance Abuse Programs with links to world-wide ASAP locations

    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Military Sexual Trauma
  VA MST information
     Provides information and guidance on reporting
  Military Rape Crisis Center
     Has a chart for off-base rape crisis centers located
      near military bases

Suicide Prevention
  The National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1
   800-273-TALK (8255)
    Press 1 for Veterans

  American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

  Suicide Prevention Resource Center
    American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. (2010).
    American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders
     (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author.
    Gewirtz, A., DeGarmo, D., Polushy, M., Khaylis, A., & Erbes, C. (2010). Post-traumatic stress
     symptoms among National Guard soldiers deployed to Iraq: Associations with parenting
     behaviors and couple adjustment. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78(5), 599-
    Franklin, K. (2009). Understanding the challenges of marriage, parenting, and family life for
     returning veterans and military families: The Deployment Cycle and Reintegration Challenges.
    Hoge, C., Castro, C., Messer, J., McGurk, D., Cotting, D., & Koffman, R. (2004). Combat duty
     in Iraq and Afghanistan: Mental health problems and barriers to care. New England Journal of
     Medicine, 35(1), 13-22.
    Hoge, E.A., Austin, E.D. & Pollack, M.H. (2007). Resilience: Research evidence and
     conceptual considerations for posttraumatic stress disorder. Depression and Anxiety, 24, 139-
    Jones, K., Young, T., & Leppma, M. (2010). Mild traumatic brain injury and post traumatic
     stress disorder in returning Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans: Implications for assessment and
     diagnosis. Journal of Counseling and Development, 88(3), 372-376.

    Mundt., J. (2009). PTSD in the new generation of combat veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan:
     What the non-VA clinician needs to know. Medical Educational Services Ins. Professional
     Development Network. Eau, WI.
    Pfeffer, D. (2010). Quality Instructional Services for Veterans And Military Family Members,
    Santrock., J. (2005). Adolescence. McGrawHill. New York, NY.
    Savych, B. (2009). Effects of deployment on spouses of military personnel. Humanities and
     Social Sciences, 3295.
    Schupp., J. (2010). SERV VCU. Supportive education for the returning veteran. Helping
     Virginia’s Best, Brightest, and Bravest get their degree, Webinar.
    Spinal Cord Injuries. (2010).
    Thomas, J. Wilk, J. Riviere, L., McGurk, D., Castro, C., Hoge, C. (2010) Prevalence of mental
     health problems and functional impairment among active component National Guard soldiers 3
     and 12 months following combat in Iraq. Archives of General Psychiatry, 67(6), 614-623.
  (2010).
    VA MST. (2010).
    VCU. (2010). Veteran’s Census; Fall 2010.


To top