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Student Veterans

Meet Anthony Owens, a student in the NLU Veterans Program

shutterstock_56358946Tell us about yourself.

I grew up on the West side of Chicago. My parents were very strict, so that helped with my transition to the military. Before I entered the military, I went to college for one year on a basketball scholarship. However, I lost my scholarship and started working at UPS to earn money to attend school. I decided that path wasn’t for me at the time and chose to enlist in the military.

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Building strong military families

shutterstock_177001172More than half of today’s military service members are married, and nearly 2 million children live in military families, which is a significant increase from years past when roughly 70 percent were single. With the stress that military life can bring to families, including periodic absences for duty, frequent moves, childcare issues, etc., nearly half of military marriages end in divorce. This stress also can be elevated when troops transition to civilian life and pursue higher education. With this in mind, the following are a few tips to help build and maintain a strong military family.

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A code of support for service men and women

shutterstock_143100571When service members enroll in the armed forces, they sign a code of conduct in which they pledge to give their lives in defense of the country if called upon to do so. As U.S. citizens who benefit from the sacrifice our service members make every day, it is important to ask ourselves what we can do to support them — especially as more troops return from active duty. It is critical not only to identify advocates for them, but to be an advocate who helps them transition to civilian life. What is our code of support for military troops and veterans?

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Meet Chuck Major, a student in the NLU Veterans Program

NLU Major-page-001Tell us about yourself.

I grew up on the South Side of Chicago. After high school, I went to college but had to take a break to care for my mom, who was ill at the time. During that period, I had a lot of student debt to pay back, and I saw an ad on TV about how the Army could help with student loans, so I decided to pursue it. I loved the Army and the structure of it. Most people don’t love boot camp, but I did. While in the service, I spent most of my days in a giant vault, dismantling weapons. I also was able to travel a lot while in the Army and spent my last tour of duty in Egypt. I was in the military for a total of eight years and am 49 now.

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Disabled American Veterans: A resource for veterans to know

shutterstock_162286235Recently we talked with JoAnn Fisher, Department Commander, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Department District of Columbia, NLU alumna and a member of National Louis University’s Veterans Program Advisory Council. She shared interesting statistics about the DAV, as well as resources for disabled veterans.

According to the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics, in 2012 more than 3.5 million U.S. military veterans had a service-connected disability. This number has greatly increased since 1986, when there were approximately 2.3 million veterans with service-connected disabilities. With a significant number of current disabled veterans, it is important that this population knows what resources are available to them and how to access them.

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Meet Andrew Heil, a student in the NLU Veterans Program

shutterstock_129353198Tell us about yourself.

I was born and raised in Chicago. When the Army recruiter came to my high school, my ears perked up. I knew I wanted to be a law enforcement officer and learned a great deal about the field through my roles and responsibilities in the Army. My two primary roles in the Army were as a military police investigator and army recruiter. In 2011, I retired with 22 years of active duty in the Army, along with an additional 10 years of service in the Reserves.

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NLU providing learning support for student veterans

shutterstock_160630583As military veterans return to school, many are juggling work, family and an introduction/reintroduction to higher education. To help these students make the most of their college careers, some military-friendly colleges and universities have established learning support departments. Peter Ploegman is a learning support specialist at National Louis University, and recently he shared an overview of his work and the importance of providing learning support services for student veterans.

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Meet Riley Wright, a student in the NLU Veterans Program

photoTell us about yourself.

I grew up in California and moved to Texas at age 14 and then moved again to South Carolina. When I graduated from high school, I wanted to be a criminologist and get as much experience as I could. However, I discovered that I had to be at least 21 to be a criminologist. I wanted to get solid hands-on experience in the field, so I joined the Army at age 18 and served for five years in Germany and Fort Carson, CO.

I knew that as soon as I got out of the Army, I would go back to school to pursue my degree. I returned to civilian life in the fall of 2009. I am married now and have a six-month-old daughter. I live in Algonquin, IL, and attend National Louis University’s Chicago campus once per week.

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Transcendental meditation: An option to help veterans heal

shutterstock_129015947More than 22 million troops have served in the U.S. military, and as a result many carry very painful physical and emotional scars, including post-traumatic stress (PTS). According to researchers, including Norman Rosenthal, M.D., psychiatrist and medical researcher at Georgetown University Medical School and author of The New York Times bestseller, “Transcendence,” the practice of transcendental meditation (TM) has become an evidence-based mental technique for veterans who are looking to reduce their stress after returning from military life.

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