Welcoming returning veterans**
Community support is invaluable when it comes to assisting veterans' successful transition from military to student life. Below are some things to consider as you welcome veterans back to campus.
Some simple ways to create a welcoming environment include:
- Welcoming military personnel home
- Expressing your appreciation of their service
- Offering to help
- Supporting with patience, and listening
- Understanding that returning to normal can take time
Some questions are better than others. Good ways to start a conversation include:
- What did you do and where did you go while you were in the military? (Don't assume all veterans served in Iraq/Afghanistan.)
- How are you and your family doing?
You should avoid:
- Pressuring a veteran regarding specifics about their service they choose not to share with you
- Minimizing the challenges a veteran might face
- Making assumptions about any veteran's political or foreign policy views
- Singling out a veteran without prior approval
- Did you kill anyone?
- Did you see anyone die?
- Are you glad you're back?
- Did you miss your family?
- Do you have to go back?
- Do you think we are winning over there? Is it all worth it?