Veterans of the armed forces often struggle to reconnect with the civilian world after they leave the service. They have a set of unique experiences that only other people who have served share and can relate to. Whether they are combat veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan or veterans who served in a non-combat role, they have a shared sense of values across the branches.
Often, veterans are uncomfortable with the words “thank you for your service,” and simply want to hear “welcome home.” For veterans who choose to use their GI Bill benefits and attend college, the experience of returning to school can be doubly alienating. At UWGB, there is an organization dedicated bringing veterans together.
Vets 4 Vets is a campus club uniquely dedicated to reconnecting veterans with each other and the community. They maintain the Veterans’ Lounge, which all veterans are welcome to use regardless of whether they are active in Vets 4 Vets. The lounge includes leather couches, a flat screen TV with a Netflix subscription, a coffee maker, refrigerator, and several PCs connected to the UWGB network. Veterans gather to swap stories, watch movies, and work on classwork.
They also participate and sponsor annual events. In May, they held the 2nd Annual V4V Motorcycle Rides in which students were allowed to ride on a motorcycle, coordinating with the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association WI 45-3. They raised $500 for the Northeast Wisconsin Veterans Treatment Court and in September, participated in the Be The Light Walk which supports suicide prevention and awareness efforts in Brown County.
Winter Hog Roast on Deck
On December 1, V4V will be cosponsoring the Veteran’s Winter Hog Roast at the Palm Gardens Banquet Hall, 6028 County Road K, New Franken, WI. The event will begin at 4PM and music begins at 7PM. The event will feature drinks, food, a silent auction and a door prize. Admission is $15 per person.
The core campus V4V group meets every other Wednesday, alternating between the Phoenix Club in the Union and the Gathering Room at MAC 201 at 5PM. The scheduled meetings for the Fall 2018 semester run from September 5 in the Phoenix Club to November 28 in the same.
UWGB has worked hard to be a military friendly campus and is certified as a UW VETS Campus. V4V demonstrates that the core of being a campus friendly to veterans is in the efforts of student veterans themselves, offering a “welcome home” to veterans coming back to the civilian world.
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