Milwaukee Education Symposium to Focus on Veterans

Aug. 16, 2010
The transition to college life can be quite a bit different for veterans.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 16/PRNewswire-USNewswire. The American Legion and Student Veterans of America are co-sponsoring a "Veterans on Campus" education symposium to be held Aug. 26-27 at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center.

Featured speakers for the event include Lynn Nelson, director of education for the Veterans Benefits Administration; Ruth Fanning, director of the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Service; John Decoteau of the Universal Technical Institute; and R.K. Williams and Jennifer Matteson of the National Association of Veterans' Program Administrators.

"The transition to college life is quite a bit different for military veterans," said Brian Hawthorne, SVA's legislative director. "Rather than coming from comfortable and familiar high school and community surroundings, vets are often walking on campus fresh from a wholly alien culture in a foreign land. The effects of this cannot be overemphasized."

Hawthorne, who served two tours in Iraq, also said the age difference between many veterans and their fellow students also creates a culture gap.

Fellow veteran Robert Madden, assistant director of The American Legion's economic division, pointed to another factor that sometimes strains campus relations. "Even in a country that broadly and proudly proclaims 'we support our troops,' veterans still experience occasional incidents of social stigma, suspicion and even fear on some campuses."

The symposium also features panel discussions with student veterans, educators, and representatives from The American Legion and other veterans service organizations.

The Milwaukee event, second of its kind held this year, aims to construct "bridges of understanding" between veterans and their fellow students. The first "Veterans on Campus" event was held last February in Washington, D.C.

The symposium, open to the public, precedes The American Legion's 92nd annual national convention, to be held Aug. 31- Sept. 2 in the city's Frontier Airlines Center.

To learn more about the "Veterans on Campus" event or to register online, go to

About SVA

(SVA) is a coalition of student veterans groups from college campuses across the United States. Founded in January 2008, SVA is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that works to create new student groups, develop programs and policies to help veterans transition from combat to the classroom, centralize all resources that student veterans need to graduate successfully, and advocate on behalf of student veterans at the local, state and national levels.

About The American Legion

With a current membership of about 2.5 million wartime veterans, The American Legion was founded in 1919 to serve veterans, servicemembers and their families. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation.