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.
Recently 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.
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.
As 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.
Learn more about how NLU’s veterans program is part of a nationwide trend among colleges to help military members as they transition back to civilian life and look to take the next step in their careers.
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.
More 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.
Recently we talked with Emily Garrity, co-founder and president of ConnectVETS. She shared helpful information about ConnectVETS, as well as resources available to help veterans as they transition from military to civilian life.
Tell us about ConnectVETS.
Chicago-based ConnectVETS is a national leader in providing online job search education and career transition resources for transitioning service members and veterans to facilitate military talent acquisition. The organization focuses on building the bridge between military veterans and employers. ConnectVETS was founded in 2007 to support the men and women who have served our country by connecting veterans with private sector employment opportunities. ConnectVETS is also active in the Illinois Joining Forces Initiative, where I serve as the employer engagement sub-committee chair in the employment and training working group.
Emily Drake, Employer Outreach Specialist with the National Louis University Veterans Program, shares important career search and networking tips for student veterans.
Knowing your audience is arguably one of the most important elements in any successful transaction — asking someone out on a date, negotiating a merger or acquisition in the board room, requesting a raise at work and, of course, determining how to approach a potential employer.
Steve Goodwin, military veteran and Vice President and Senior Portfolio Management Director at Morgan Stanley in Chicago — as well as a Chairman of the National Louis University Veteran’s Program Advisory Council — recently shared important budgeting tips for student veterans to keep in mind.
Military veterans have many transitions to make, including pursuing a college degree, when they return from active duty. Following a sound budgeting process can help to make the financial transition smoother, as well as identifying a military-friendly college or university. Below are some important steps to keep in mind for veterans returning to school.