A conference coming up next week at Montgomery County Community College will focus on supporting veterans in transition from combat to civilian life. A key organizer, Psychology Professor Ann Marie Donohue, is the faculty advisor for the Student Veterans’ Association. She says she learned a lot about it by talking with her own students who fought in Iran or Afghanistan.
“The chief message I learned there was how complicated it is, how terribly complex it is when you are in the warrior role to come home again to a society where all that you’ve learned and been is foreign, where you need to re-claim and re-build a new life, a sense of self that includes what you’ve been through, who you were before, and who you become from here.”
Doctor Donohue says the military services train people very intensely for going into battle, but they do very little to train them for re-adjusting to civilian life. The conference, coming up on Friday, September 24, at the Montgomery County Community College Main Campus in Blue Bell, is aimed not only at veterans and their families, but also professionals in education, health care and social services. There is no admission charge, and a U.S. Defense Department grant is helping to cover the cost.