Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Veteran's Transition Center

The Strib (Minneapolis Star and Tribune), as it is called by the MOB (Minnesota Organization of Bloggers) had an article that truly struck me funny. At the Univ. of Minnesota, two young Iraq war veterans started a center for vets, though there is nothing funny about Iraq war veterans. The one pictured is the same age as these young men, but died in Iraq. He was 24, a husband and father of 3. (I'll bet he's dancing on streets of gold right now.)

Anyway, the article says that many vets are overwhelmed by the relatively petty concerns of students compared to what they have seen and experienced in the service. It says that this alienates veterans from the rest of the student body.

So, they are "naturalized" at the center into American life once again. They learn to again identify petty concerns, as important.

How would they do this? Would they hang out with girls at the mall who are concerned only with nails, clothes, boys, cell phones, etc. and try to react to petty concerns with dismay?

In response to someone freakin' over an exam they aren't prepared for, the article says that the young men used to say "you have three weeks to prepare for an exam? I had a week to prepare for going to Iraq." Now they learn to say, "Oh my goodness, that's terrible!"

Maybe they are trained to sit on couches for hours and drink beer and flip channels once again.

Or, to feel at home after being in Iraq they go to the ghetto for a visit- a war zone.

photo: Iraq War heroes


hammerswing75 said...

I remember hearing an interview with an Iraqi War vet who was instrumental in founding an on campus organization at the U. He told the story of how he found it incredibly difficult to drive back home in the States because his mind had a fear of overpasses. Obviously he knew that there was no danger from attacks here in MN, but he had grown so use the danger that it was difficult to shake. I hope that time will heal their wounds. In any case, I am grateful for what they are doing.

Gabrielle Eden said...

I am too.