Veteran Voices on Campus

Interviews conducted by Brandon Scott

I passed out questionnaires and conducted and interviews with 11 EMU veterans, and one former EMU student veteran. Answers will be generalized and structured to veteran branches of service.

All veterans and service members were proud to put their country before themselves.

 

Rate EMU compared to other schools either visited or attended.

Air Force- Much Better

Army/N.G.- Good, Excluding security

Marines- Better than other schools

Navy- Excellent

(no current Coast Guard interviews)

 

Are EMU facilities supportive of veterans?

Air Force- Yes, needs small improvements in regards to financial support

Army/N.G.- Extremely supportive professors

Marines- Good and supportive

Navy- Not much, needs more.

 

Any EMU improvement suggestions?

Air Force- More financial support/scholarships

Army/N.G.- Improve safety to prevent crime on/directly by campus

Marines- Veteran priority focus area, instead of a secondary

Navy- Provide more areas on campus for veterans to meet and talk in person

 

Were you given time to complete your degree (years) counting prior schools?

Air Force- 5 years (bachelor) with active duty time online

Army/N.G.- 7 years (master) no college while active duty

Marines- 3 years (bachelor) with active duty time

Navy- 2 ½ years (bachelor) no active duty time (Military transfer credit)

 

Was the military a good life catalyst for you?

Air Force- Yes, great opportunity to serve my country, life experiences, and paid college

Army/N.G.- Yes, teaches discipline and helps pay for school

Marines- Yes, for the most part, proud to serve

Navy- Yes, great experiences in the service, and seeing the world

 

What educational benefits are you utilizing? (GI Bill, TA, SLRP, SOC, Voc. Rehab., ROTC Stipend, Scholarships)

Air Force- GI Bill, Scholarships

Army/N.G.- GI Bill, TA, SLRP, ROTC, Scholarships

Marines- Post 9/11 and scholarships

Navy- Chapter 33 and Post 9/11

 

How have you found the transition back into civilian life? Returning home from deployment?

Air Force- It is not easy, but overall the transition is going smoothly.

Army/N.G.- It is slow, but there are a lot of programs to help veterans back into society now.

Marines- Slow and somewhat difficult

Navy- There are ups and downs, but just keep going forward

 

Do you now have any disabilities or challenges in your life (physically, psychologically, mentally)

Air Force- It is hard going from routines of active duty, into you making your own routine

Army/N.G.- With multiple tours, combat and labor intensive work; the body takes a beating

Marines- Physical disabilities

Navy- Physical problems and there is a large amount of veterans suffering from PTSD

 

How has the military affected your family life?

Air Force- The service can negatively affect marriages sometimes.

Army/N.G.- There are positives and negatives involved with deployments

Marines- More distant from family members

Navy- No change

 

Do you feel easily accepted back into civilian/college life? Why or Why not?

Air Force- On campus-yes, off of campus-not too many places.

Army/N.G.- Not always, there are some people that don’t even acknowledge our sacrifices

Marines- No, students tend to look down on veterans at times

Navy- Faculty and professors are great, but students tend to avoid and ignore veterans

 

Are professors understanding of military obligations?

Air Force- Many are

Army/N.G.- Yes, almost all professors are very considerate

Marines- Not too many

Navy- Professors who understand more if they walked in a veterans shoes- hit or miss

 

How do you see and feel the military discipline is of veterans/military members of today, when compared to either you or military leadership.

Air Force- There are subtle changes with service members becoming too sensitive

Army/N.G.- Lack of discipline and experience

Marines- See new service members are weak and “going downhill”

Navy- Few to no changes, soldiers becoming more demanding

 

How would you compare OIF/OEF, Desert Storm, (any combat engagements in the last 20 years) to Vietnam veterans? Would you consider it the next forgotten war(s)?

Air Force- The majority of the public tend to be ignorant on the most recent wars, yes

Army/N.G.- Today’s wars are very similar to Vietnam, but many people do not understand it

Marines- Afghanistan is the next forgotten war

Navy- Some citizens tend to think we have not even been in Afghanistan since 2011

 

Have you used Veteran Affairs for any of the following- medical care, educational benefits, disability compensation? How would you rate the VA/ your experience?

Air Force- Yes, the VA is extremely slow and is backlogged for disability claims for 2 years

Army/N.G.- Yes, overall the VA is seen as a bureaucracy that rarely works efficiently

Marines- Yes to all three, the VA is horrible, slow, and frustrating

Navy- Yes, overall neutral on feelings to VA- pros and cons in different areas

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 year/ 20 years?

Air Force- Successful career, close to retirement

Army/N.G.- Working in career field

Marines- Enjoying a well-paid job

Navy- Technology field career

 

How do you view the media coverage and portrayals of the military as a whole?

Air Force- Do not believe most of watch you see on TV

Army/N.G.- Not portrayed accurately. Only focus on negatives, never the good we do overseas

Marines- There is a false sense, rare coverage, and never display the actual war anymore

Navy- Media only shows what they want us to see, which is not the whole truth

What would you say to a new or potential military recruit?

Air Force- Listen to your superiors

Army/N.G.- Get a job that you can use after getting out of the service

Marines- Shut up, pay attention, and listen to your NCOs

Navy- Stay driven, utilize your benefits even while in the military, be humble

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