EKU recently heard an amazing Chautauqua lecture from David L. Albright, PhD. “Building Resilience and Finding Balance” was a lecture about veterans’ strengths and the challenges they face. It was also a lecture about our common humanity, about the need for tribe and a sense of purpose. About 45 of my students attended. The next day we discussed how veterans’ lessons in resilience can pertain to the transitions faced by college students. Dr. Albright showed how self-awareness and self-care can shape all of life’s major transitions. The lecture helped my students see how the veteran’s transition from warrior to civilian can teach them about transitioning to life in college. It helped them see how these lessons could teach them about the transitions awaiting them after college. Learning to see past stereotypes and recognize veterans as models of human resilience is one reason why I advocate for the growing field of Veterans Studies.
WEKU’s Samantha Morrill reports on an effort to rescue benefits and services mistakenly denied veterans. And, an interview with Dr. David Albright, an endowed chair in Mental Health Research and Director of the Office for Military Families and Veterans at the University of Alabama. Listen.
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.