I would like to thank and congratulate one of my mentors, Dr. Brett Morris, on his new position at the University of North Georgia. I met Brett when I was leading the EKU student veteran organization as an undergraduate in 2009. His “Operation Veteran Success” initiative revolutionized EKU’s support of military veterans, garnering the school a national #1 ranking for its support services (and several top ten spots in the years that followed). The success of the initiative attracted commencement speakers such as Gen. Eric Shinseki, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and Michelle Obama, the First Lady of the United States. He later did great things as the Director of Admissions and Executive Director of Enrollment Management. I worked for Brett while pursing my Master’s Degree. He gave me time and resources and opened the doors necessary so that I could create EKU’s Veterans Studies Minor and Certificate Program. He helped me transform from a gung-ho Army Sergeant and rabble-rouser into a serious scholar and community leader. His belief in my abilities helped shape my life’s trajectory. We all wish him luck in the next chapter of his life.
Travis L. Martin, PhD, is founding director of the Kentucky Center for Veterans Studies at Eastern Kentucky University. He has established several nationally recognized programs to support returning veterans in higher education and the non-profit sector. A scholar of American literature, psychoanalytic trauma theory, and social theory, Dr. Martin presents frequently at conferences and universities. He has published dozens of research articles and creative short works on veterans’ issues. A former sergeant in the U.S. Army, he served during two deployments in the Iraq War (2003-04 & 2005). His book War and Homecoming: Veteran Identity and the Post-9/11 Generation is slated for publication with the University Press of Kentucky in 2022. He resides in Richmond, KY.