United Students for Veterans' He by fjhuangjun


									     United Students for Veterans’ Health: Winter Vol.10, No.2,2006

     U SV H N ewsletter
     *********VISIT US at www.usvh.org************
The World of USVH: A Veteran Connection at Santa Clara
by Jenevieve Francisco
USVH Volunteer Coordinator at SCU
         Greetings from Santa Clara! My name is Jenevieve Francisco. I am currently a senior majoring in
Anthropology and the Volunteer coordinator at the Santa Clara University. In this first installment of a
series of articles that aim to introduce USVH on a national level, I would like to tell my fellow USVH
volunteers about bit about our chapter at the SCU.
                                   It all started just 3 short years ago with Grace Campbell, who is still
                           currently a volunteer. Senior Connection had always been around at Santa Clara
                           University. Through Senior Connection volunteers could visit different
                           retirement homes in the area, but Grace heard about the VA Hospital and
                           thought it would be a great place to volunteer, renaming the program Veteran
                           Connection. The rest as they say is history…
                                   Veteran Connection is housed under a larger organization called
the Santa Clara Community Action Program. SCCAP’s mission statement is to promote “the holistic
education of the volunteer by serving the surrounding community and by reflecting upon social justice
issues, with the intent of challenging the participants to commit to creating a more humane and just
world.” Under SCCAP there are 19 programs geared towards different issues such as homelessness, social
justice, health and disabilities, and education and mentoring.                          Continued on Page 2

mUsIC, ArTS & fUn!
sPEcIAl EvEnTs @ VA
by Yun Chu, Special Events Director
        Winter Quarter special events had
a great start with musical performances
by Everyday People and Side By Side,
two Stanford a cappella groups. While
Side By Side sang several classic oldies
songs, Everyday People introduced our
veterans to new R&B and Motown hits.
The following week, we hosted a
movie matinee featuring Monsters Inc.
to the delight of our veterans, who
enjoyed the Pixar animation and the
humor of the movie.
        For Valentine’s Day, we had pre-
                                            Above: Veterans and volunteers shared a laugh (or rather,
made card-making kits filled with
valentine cards, coloring pencils, and      laughs) as Stanford Improvisors (SImp) reenacted out their
origami paper, so that each volunteer       version of the creation of toilet paper.
could pick one up from the USVH Student
Center to participate in an art-and-crafts event with their veterans.                Continued on Page 3

                                                                                       continued on page 4
                                  USVH proudly presents our
                                   Volunteers of the Quarter
                                        Winter 2006
                                     George Capps
                                   Jessica Stanley

           I started volunteering with USVH after                 I initially interviewed with USVH because I
  hearing about the opportunity from some friends        wanted to make a positive impact in the lives of a
  on the board. Now, just two quarters later, I am       marginalized population and because I wanted to
  completely attached to the veterans I've come to       show respect and gratitude to those who had risked
  know during my weekly visits to the VA. Every          their lives in service of this great nation. I did not
  Wednesday I look forward to the two hours I get        realize, however, that USVH would rank among the
  to spend just hanging out in D-5. The vets I've        most rewarding experiences of my life. The special
  met at the Menlo Park VA Hospital are absolutely       relationships that I have cultivated and the fun times
  amazing people. They have all had incredible           that I have had during the past two years will not
  lives and have unbelievable stories to share; I feel   soon be forgotten. Volunteering has given me a taste
  so lucky to have the opportunity to just sit down      of the profound joy to be found in the personal
  and talk with them every week. I only hope that        interaction with those suffering from some of the
  the vets enjoy our time together as much as I do!      most debilitating physical and mental conditions, and
                                                         I look forward to continuing my relationships with
  Something about me…                                    the veterans during the coming quarter.
         Favorite Food- Mexican                                   My favorite colors are purple, blue, and gold,
         Favorite Color- Red, White                      and I do not like chocolate. In my spare time, I paint
         Favorite TV Show- OC, first season              historically accurate 19th-century battle scenes.

The World, Continued from page 1                   The Veteran Connection program is part of the
department of health and disabilities and it is easy to see why the VA in Menlo Park was chosen as a
place where volunteers can learn more about this population. But beyond that the veterans provide
our volunteers with something greater than just education about health and disabilities. Currently
there are 8 volunteers from Santa Clara University, ranging in majors from religious studies to ethnic
studies to communications. We are a group of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. We come
once a week to the hospital and have, in the past, mostly concentrated on personal communication
during our visits.
        In the upcoming quarter I hope that we will be able to take more advantage of the games and
activities that the hospital has to offer. I have truly enjoyed my time working with both the veterans
and staff at the hospital and will miss them when I graduate this June. I can only hope that for all of
our volunteers they will be able to take a piece of this experience with them after college, as I will
Learning about Veteran Issues with USVH
by Arpeet Shah, Director of Volunteering
        In an effort to spread the word about veterans’ issues, USVH board members Tamar Berger,
Ting Qian, and Jessie Tao started a Student-Initiated Course (SIC) titled, “A Veteran’s Affair:
Examining the Social, Economical, and Biomedical Impacts of War.” This course goes through a
different aspect of veterans’ issues every week, ranging from the treatment of women veterans to
homeless veterans and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I have the pleasure of being enrolled in
the class and have enjoyed the guest lecturers, especially the speakers for the homeless unit.
        For the homeless veterans unit, the class brought in two very interesting speakers, Irvin
Goodwin and Dr. Ian Tong. Irvin Goodwin is the director of the Menlo Park Homeless Veteran
Rehabilitation Program. What is so amazing about his story is that he originally dropped out of high
school, entered the military and, upon returning from service, was homeless for many years. It was
only when a person found him at a park in Berkeley and notified him of the VA’s services that he
was able to overcome his homelessness and find a job. Now, he runs a rehabilitation center to help
other homeless veterans find jobs and homes as well. Our other main speaker that day, Dr. Ian
Tong, runs a homeless van that goes around cities to provide healthcare to homeless veterans.
Considering the fact that many veterans would have problems getting to places such
as hospitals, this is an especially admirable activity.
                                                         This has been an amazing class and I
                                                 recommend that, if it is offered next year and you are
 A Brief National                                interested in veterans’ affairs, that you strongly
                                                 consider taking it.
 Recruitment Update
 by Jessie Tao, National Recruitment Director     ***********************************
           The National Recruitment Board
 (NRB) is continuing its efforts to recruit
                                                  USVH Marching off to
 students from other universities to start
 USVH chapters. We are making progress
                                                  Washington DC
 towards founding a chapter at SF State and  by Tamar Berger
 the University of Washington, and also hope         Considering the current US entanglement, we as
 to continue to create student interest at   Stanford students and future decision makers, should
 schools on the East Coast. Keep track of ourbe more aware of the issues in veterans affairs: What
 target universities on the U.S. map at the  resources are available for veterans in terms of
 student center.                             rehabilitation? What is the VA hospital and is it able
           We encourage you to get in touch  to provide the needed healthcare? Why are so many
 with a NRB member or me if you have a       veterans homeless in comparison to the average
                                             population? What physical and psychological traumas
 friend at another college who is interested in
 starting a chapter. It will be a rewarding  do they face and how does that hinder their daily
 leadership opportunity towards a meaningful lives? What policies in Congress effect veterans, what
 cause. So tell your friends about USVH,     works, and what needs to be revised? After
                                             participating in a quarter-long student-initiated course,
 relate stories about volunteering, share with
 them the amazing veterans you visit!        nine students will venture to Washington, DC during
                                             spring break
  for a week long service-learning trip. Working directly with Ms. Laura Balun, Director of Voluntary
  Services at the VA, we will volunteer with a variety of different volunteer organizations to
  personally experience the wide range of issues covered in the course. Through active volunteering
  and stimulating discussions with policy makers, students will experience the role our nation's
  capitol has in shaping veterans' affairs.
         We hope that all participants will return to Stanford inspired         Continued on Page 4
             Get to Know Your USVH Board: 2 Profiles
    Check out our two very indispensable directors – David “Show-me-the-money” Hafhauser
and Ting “Get-your-TB-test-done-or-else” Qian!

  Name: David Hafhauser, Chief Financial                 Name: Ting Qian, Director of Volunteer
  Officer                                                Training
  Class: 2007                                            Class: 2007
  Major: Biological Science                              Major: Biological Sciences
  A little something…I started volunteering with         A little something… I have been involved with
  USVH in 2005 as way to give back to people who         USVH for three years since. It is a truly
  have sacrificed so much for this country and the       worthwhile experience because of these special
  principles it stands for. The experience far           one-on-one relationships you establish with your
  exceeded my expectations. I've heard fascinating       veterans. These veterans are quite the
  stories of different countries and times, learned to   characters! They are and have been globe trotters,
  appreciate a Coltrane rift, picked-up and made         fighters, flirts, husbands, fathers, chefs, translators,
  some good friends along the way. It is an              entrepreneurs, and more. They have so much to
  awesome feeling knowing that I can add to the          share when you visit. I can tell you a funny story
  lives of these veterans, and I have a great time       about how one patient met his wife and married her
  whenever I volunteer.                                  the day after. Or how to plant a "tomato-potato." I
                                                         also became a huge fan of John Coltrane because
                                                         my veteran often played his favorite Jazz records
                                                         for me. Others play a mean game of cards, and I
                                                         "pretend" to lose every time (right...). You see,
                                                         there's always a lot to learn at the VA--so not only
                                                         will you as a volunteer enrich your veterans' lives,
                                                         but they will definitely enrich your life as well.

MUSIC, Continued from Page 1          The second event this quarter featuring an invited Stanford
performance group was the Stanford Improvisors (SImps), who put on a one hour show full of laughs.
Their impromptu technique reminded everyone that humor is always around us.
For spring quarter, the largest event will be Art in the Park, where several singing and dancing groups
will be invited to perform, and carnival-like refreshments will be served to everyone attending. Other
events include a Boardgame & Bingo event and performances by the Stanford Jazz Band.
MARCHING, Continued from Page 3               to promote public awareness on campus. When we return,
we plan to extend our knowledge to the Stanford community at large by presenting our experience to
all undergraduate dormitories. We also plan to document our trip by creating a photo journal for us to
present in White Plaza. Finally, we plan to organize a campus-wide event on Memorial Day that will
involve a panel of alumni Veterans, current ROTC students, and local VA administrators.
                                Can YOU Contribute?
    Come across any interesting issues related to veterans’ healthcare? Want to contribute and enrich
    this publication with your own works, poems, drawings and photographs inspired by your
    veterans? Contact Jess Yee (National Communication Director) at jessyee@stanford.edu if
    you would like to submit your contribution or suggestions to improve this newsletter.

    Have any questions or suggestions about our special events or volunteering in general? Let us
    know too! VISIT US at www.usvh.org to find all directors’ contact information and learn more
    about USVH!

                                          OF COURSE!

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