Tuesday – May 22, 2018

Info for Veterans, Military Families and Instructors

Veteran Information

The following information is provided for the use of Student Veterans, their families, and their instructors. The Military Education Support office (S115C) and Vets Club (M323) are located at the Downtown Milwaukee Campus. For information and assistance at regional campuses, go to the Student Services Office.

Information on upcoming events at MATC and the community.

Each veteran will deal with returning from military duty in his or her own way, but the following tips can help student veterans better adjust to civilian life and college.

Student Veteran Q&A:
A quick resource guide for teaching or advising returning student veterans.

Recognizing Combat-Related Stress and PTSD:
Signs and symptoms returning vets may face.

Advising Student Veterans:
Tips to help returning veterans adjust to college life.

Teaching and Curriculum Resources:
Speakers, films, DVDs, books, websites, lesson ideas and more bring "the soldiering experience" into your classroom.

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Each veteran will deal with returning from military duty in his or her own way, but the following tips can help student veterans better adjust to civilian life and college.

  • Limit your schedule to what is reasonable. Don't overload.
  • In class, take notes using a good note-taking system (such as the Cornell Note Taking System) to keep focus and concentration sharp.
  • Follow a daily schedule to keep yourself organized.
  • Get involved with campus activities that interest you. Become involved with your fellow students.
  • Use college services such as academic tutoring and counseling services.
  • Talk to your campus Veteran Affairs representative and take advantage of available benefits for veterans.
  • Limit exposure to sources of information that might upset you (television, news broadcasts, certain websites, newspapers).
  • Talk with peers and counselors.
  • Be aware that others may not understand or agree with your service in the military.
  • Get enough sleep and rest. Eat a balanced diet and establish a good physical workout routine.
  • Decrease unhealthy behaviors such as use of alcohol, nicotine and illegal substances.
  • Take part in healthy, fun activities.
  • Give back to the campus and community by doing volunteer work. Helping others takes the focus off of you and you will see how much you have to offer.
  • Pay attention to how you react to things and learn to recognize the physical and emotional signs of stress and/or PTSD.
  • Seek spiritual fulfillment through prayer, meditation and fellowship.
  • Set reasonable boundaries for yourself.
  • Visit the MATC Military Education Benefits Office in S223

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Veteran Students Q&A

What financial aid benefits are veterans entitled to?
Please see http://matc.edu/student/resources/financialaid/vetaid.cfm


How can a student veteran obtain special accommodations for classroom success (note taker, books on tape, testing accommodations, etc.)
Please see http://matc.edu/student/resources/needs.cfm


Where can a student veteran find social and academic support ?

Support exists on and off campus:
MATC  Vets Club - Room M323
Zablocki VA Medical Center - Building 123


Where can a student veteran go if he or she has basic living needs (housing, food, etc. )
County Veterans Service Office at:
Zablocki VA Medical Center, 5000 W. National Avenue
Vets Place Central, 3330 W. Wells Street


What happens to a student veteran's academic standing during deployment?
MATC Board policy FO512 states:

Milwaukee Area Technical College will provide a 100% refund of all tuition and fees to students who are ordered or inducted into active service in the armed forces of the United States or who are requested to work for the federal government during a national emergency or a limited national emergency.

Milwaukee Area Technical College will give priority readmission to students who are ordered or inducted into active service in the armed forces of the United States or who are requested to work for the federal government during a national emergency or a limited national emergency.


How will a student veteran's academic standing be affected if he or she  asks to be withdrawn from a course due to personal and/or medical issues?
As with any student, withdrawing from a class can affect financial aid and academic standing. Medical documentation helps students make their cases during the appeal process. Student veterans who are advised to withdraw from classes by medical personnel should obtain documentation and submit copies to their counselors.


What should a student veteran do if he or she appears to need emotional /psychological support?
On campus:

The Student Assistance Center is open on a walk-in basis on all campuses. Program Counselors are available from 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. (Monday -Thursday8 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Friday). You also may schedule an appointment.

Downtown Milwaukee Campus (Room S203): 414-297-6675
Mequon Campus (Room 110): (262-238-2469)

Oak Creek Campus (Room A106): (414-571-4458).

West Allis Campus (Room 120):  (414-456-5451)


Off campus:
 - Zablocki VA Mental Health Walk-in Clinic  - 6th floor,  7a.m. - 3 p.m. daily
 - Zablocki VA MH Recovery Services- Building 1111, Rom 3528,
   Tues, 2:30-3:30( information session )
 - RN Helpline: 1-888-469-6614
 - National suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) 
   5 p.m. - 8 a.m., 365 days a year

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Recognizing Combat-Related Stress and PTSD

Returning to college after armed services deployment can be stressful and frustrating for some veterans, especially those coming out of extremely stressful combat conditions.

Veterans re-entering college may wonder how they will adjust back to civilian life and deal with the problems they are experiencing. They may wonder if their military experiences will interfere with doing their best in college. These questions are normal.

Resources are available to help veterans readjust to civilian and college life, but it helps to know symptoms of combat-related stress and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to recognize when to seek help.

A veteran suffering from combat-related stress and/or PTSD may experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Boredom stemming from missing the adrenaline rush of combat
  • Anger or frustration concerning lost time while on deployment
  • Inability to focus and concentrate on academic assignments/tests
  • Anxiety, hypersensitivity and startle reactions
  • Problems with developing relationships with fellow students who have not experienced what veterans have gone through
  • Concerns and worries about being redeployed
  • Anger and rage control problems
  • Depression and paranoia
  • Troubling dreams, nightmares, thoughts and memories
  • Grief and sadness
  • Isolation, social retraction and alienation from others
  • Low tolerance for stress and others' views of the armed services
  • Guilt because of acts committed during combat situations, events witnessed and from being a survivor while others were not
  • Seeking relief from emotional pain by abusing alcohol and other drugs
  • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
  • Low self-esteem
  • Problems with authority
  • Difficulty going to sleep and staying asleep
  • Difficulty trusting others
  • PTSD/combat-related stress reactions.

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Advising Student Veterans

Q. When I am advising student veterans, how do I know whether or not their military training can provide them with college credits?
A: See the equivalency table at http://militaryguides.acenet.edu/. Example from this table: If a student has completed basic training, he or she can be credited with 3 PHYED credits.

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Resources for Breaking the Silence and
Making the Soldier Experience a Classroom Topic


Under Wisconsin State Statutes, schools are encouraged to invite veterans into their classrooms to share their experiences with students. The following organizations and agencies can help you locate a speaker:

  • MATC Vets Club
  • Woods VA Hospital
  • Vets Place Central
  • IAVA - Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America
  • IVAW - Iraq Veterans Against the War - locate local speakers at milwaukee@ivaw.org
  • Also locate local speakers through the National Resource Directory
    This is an online partnership providing access to services and resources for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans, their families and other supporters. Maintained by the departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs, information is from federal, state and local governmental agencies; veteran service and benefit organizations; nonprofit community-based and faith-based organizations; academic institutions, professional associations and philanthropic organizations.

Films and Videos

CNN - http://www.cnn.org  (use "CNN, veteran videos" to search )
PBS - http://www.pbs.org/news/news_military.html
Lost in America  (with Danny Glover )
Soldier's Story (with Howard E. Rollins )
Soldier's Tale (with Gabriel Byrne )


All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
This is probably the most famous anti-war novel ever written. The story is told by a young "unknown soldier" in the trenches of Flanders during World War I. Through his eyes, we see the realities of war; under fire, on patrol, waiting in the trenches, at home on leave, and in hospitals and dressing stations. Although incidents are described vividly, there is no sense of adventure here, only the feeling of youth betrayed and a deceptively simple indictment of war - of any war - told for generations of war's victims.


The Good War by Studs Terkel
Noted Chicago-based journalist Studs Terkel gathers reminiscences of 121 participants in World War II (called "the good war" because, in the words of one soldier, "to see fascism defeated, nothing better could have happened to a human being"). These participants, men and women, famous and ordinary, tell stories that add immeasurably to our understanding of that cataclysmic time. One Soviet soldier recounts that, surrounded by the Germans, his comrades tapped the powder from their last cartridges and inserted notes to their families inside the casings; Russian children, he goes on, still turn these up every now and again and deliver the notes to the soldiers' families. Terkel touches on many themes along the way, including institutionalized racism in the United States military, the birth of the military-industrial complex, and the origins of the Cold War.


Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides by Christian Appy
An oral history that serves as a "final public record" from many who have struggled publicly with the war for 20 or 30 years. The book also is a monumental effort to capture voices long unheard and ensure that the words are not lost to a new generation. He includes statements from significant political and military figures from both sides of the conflict, including William Westmoreland, Alexander Haig, Nikita Kruschev's son Sergei, and Vice President Nguyen Thi Bihn.


Souled Out by Mike Orban (Wauwatosa-based author)
A personal voyage through a 30-year battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and years living in the jungles of Africa trying to restore his soul after the Vietnam War. Orban was born in 1950 in Milwaukee. Drafted into the Army in 1969, he served in an infantry division and was awarded the Bronze Star, Air Medal and Combat infantryman's badge. He returned home in a spiritual darkness and was driven to leave the U.S. and live deep in the jungles of Africa.


The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
A finalist for both the 1990 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Things They Carried marks a subtle but definitive line of demarcation between Tim O'Brien's earlier works about Vietnam, the memoir If I Die in a Combat Zone and the fictional Going After Cacciato, and this sly, almost hallucinatory book. The Things They Carried is neither memoir nor novel nor collection of short stories, but rather an artful combination of all three. Vietnam is still O'Brien's theme, but in this book he seems less interested in the war itself than in the myriad different perspectives from which he depicts it.


Haunted by Combat: Understanding PTSD in War Veterans Including Women, Reservists, and Those Coming Back from Iraq by Daryl S. Paulson and Stanley Krippner
Across history, the condition has been called "soldier's heart," "shell shock," or "combat fatigue." It is now increasingly common as our service men and women return from Iraq, Afghanistan and other ongoing combat zones. Since 1990, veterans' centers in the U.S. have treated more than 1.6 million affected men and women, including an estimated 100,000 from the Gulf War and an untallied total from the Iraq front and fighting in Afghanistan. The number also includes some 35,000 World War II veterans, because PTSD does not fade easily. Regardless of the months, years, and even decades that have passed, the traumatic events can flash back as seemingly real as they were when they occurred. In Haunted by Combat, Paulson and Krippner range across history and into current experiences and treatments for this haunting disorder. They take us into the minds of PTSD-affected veterans as they struggle against the traumatic events lingering in their minds, sometimes exploding into violent behavior. The authors explain how and why PTSD develops, and how we can help service members take the steps to heal today.


Moving a Nation to Care: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and America's Returning Troops by Ilona Meagher
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in returning combat troops is one of the most catastrophic issues confronting our nation. Yet, despite the fact that more than 25 percent of the troops who have left the military since 2003 have been diagnosed with PTSD, and many who suffer symptoms are unlikely to seek help because of the stigma of this terrible disease, our government has remained willfully neglectful the plight of our veterans.


War and the Soul by Ed Tick
Teaches how truly to heal war trauma in veterans, their families and our communities. Drawing on history, mythology and soldiers' stories from World War I to Iraq, it affirms the deep damage war does to the psyche and addresses how to reclaim the soul from war's hell.


Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace by Maxine Hong Kingston
Eighty written offerings from combat soldiers, medics, conscientious objectors, and family members of soldiers.


http://www.loc.gov/vets  - Library of Congress: Veterans History Project
http://curricula.voicesinwartime.org   - Voices in Wartime
http://www.wwiihistoryclass.com/home/index.html - The Voices of World War II
http://www.maacenter.org/ - Mesothelioma & Asbestos Awareness Center


National Geographic - http://maps.nationalgeographic.com/maps

Lesson Ideas



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