Going Back to School After the Military
You’ve spent years serving in the military, defending your values and standing up for your country. After an honorable discharge or a shift away from active duty, you’re looking to transition back into civilian life and move on to the next chapter. You know you’ve gained valuable skills and life experience during your military service, and you want to put those assets to good use in that next chapter. Now it’s time to take the next step.
If you’ve thought about going back to school as a veteran, you’re not alone: More than 1 million veterans are using GI benefits to pursue a higher education. This guide will outline some of the reasons why veterans like you are going back to school, the financial assistance available, and some potential career options upon graduation.
Discover the following sections of this guide:
- Why Military Veterans Like You Should Consider Going Back to School
- Financial Aid, the GI Bill, and Education Benefits
- Best Degrees and Career Paths for Veterans and Former Military Personnel
Project Compassion Soldier Fund, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit humanitarian organization, provides one original, gallery-quality 16″x20″ oil portrait of American military and law enforcement casualties who have died in active service since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Our sole mission is healing their loved ones through our gift of art.
“In 2006, Sgt. Braxton McCoy (Ret.) was severely injured by a suicide bomber in Ramadi, Iraq, and later told he may never walk again. After nearly a decade of physical therapy and rehabilitation, Sgt. McCoy has not only regained the majority of his strength, but has also found creative ways to circumvent his permanent injuries.
As a keynote speaker Braxton now travels the country covering what it takes to overcome life’s greatest challenges, as well as how to negotiate the dangers of opioids, alcohol abuse, and suicidal thoughts. Premier problems not just in the veteran community, but with our nation’s youth.”
The TowerCares Foundation’s mission is to support children in need as well as brave and heroic individuals and their families who sacrificed while protecting our freedom. Headquartered in Laurel, Maryland, TowerCares is a (510)(c)(3) nonprofit public charity and participating organization in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC#23594). TowerCares’ funding to support well-vetted charities and initiatives aligned with our mission comes from membership dues and generous donations from individuals and businesses in the community. For more information please visit their website.
Integrity’s Gift is an easy way for businesses to make a difference in the lives of local students at no extra cost. When you sign up for credit card processing through the program’s sponsor, Integrity Payment Systems, a portion of Integrity’s revenue will be donated to Operation First Response. Integrity matches your current rates, so you pay nothing extra to participate.
We exist to bring value to you immediately. With a video, a resource, a contact, a question answered, or a radio podcast, you will learn something you can apply instantly. We’ve carefully listened and responded to your needs – and will continue to do so going forward.
As a veteran or a Caregiver of a veteran or service member, your life may be altered by injury, illness, or aging. If you’re feeling isolated or alone, want or need people around you who “get it”, and you’d benefit from networking with peers and professionals, community health and recovery resources, you’ve come to the right place. Caregiver Peer Support is remarkable and valued and helping or receiving help can come at just the right time to make a difference.
With the increase in military veterans returning with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Canine Companions is launching a pilot program to directly place service dogs with veterans with PTSD. The pilot program will take place at our Northwest Training Center in Santa Rosa, CA. For the purposes of this initial pilot program, local participants will be selected. Dogs will be trained in tasks including nightmare interruption, turning on lights, retrieving items, and supporting their handler in crowded public situations that might provoke anxiety for individuals with PTSD. In the future, we hope to expand this new placement type to include first responders with PTSD.
When a veteran is first wounded, injured or ill, they go through a lengthy process of healing which is unique for every individual. We at VAU personally understand this all too well. We have found that through recreation, athletics and wellness retreats this recovery process is greatly improved. By participating in a sport or activity you have been told you may never do again – or staying at a retreat with others who are going through a similar situation – you can learn and grow from your brothers and sisters in arms. These life-changing experiences are what we at VAU are dedicated to providing for Veterans with disabilities of all wars and their family members.
Moving Options was created to serve as a guide and resource for any types of short or long distance moves that are made. We’ve specifically created information and resources for military members and their families to better prepare them for any kind of upcoming military move. This can be especially helpful if it’s the first time that they are going through a PCS.
MagicMobility Veterans Program
We have two ways of helping applicants get much needed mobility: (1) transferring donated used vans, and (2) helping those eligible for VA funding, to raise the additional $15- 20,000 to purchase their van.
- Application to request a van or donate: www.mobilityforvets.org
- Crowdfunding to help get supplemental funding to purchase a van: http://www.mobilityforvets.org/crowdfundingapply/
A nationwide program, which receives donated adapted vehicles and distributes them, free of charge, to local needy individuals. They have a special emphasis on helping disabled veterans, as a small token of appreciation for their dedicated service to our country. This provides a wonderful legacy for the donor, as well as the best IRS tax deduction for a vehicle donation; since the vans are not sold,
but are instead transferred to a needy recipient.
If you know of someone who has an adapted van, for a wheelchair or scooter, to donate …or is in need of one, please visit www.mobilityforvets.org to learn more.
The Dixie Thunder Run Association was organized in 2005 by a group of Soldiers that were deployed, as part of the 155th Brigade Combat Team “Dixie Thunder Brigade”, to Southern Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III. The original purpose of DTR was to respond to the desperate situation that many of the 155th Soldiers’ families were experiencing in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. Thus, the beginning of “SOLDIERS HELPING SOLDIERS”!
Veterans Institute of Training and Technology, Inc.’s (VITT) mission is to provide veterans and their dependents with premier training that will lead to marketable jobs and career opportunities as they transition from the military to the civilian workforce. VITT will provide veterans and their dependents free information technology training that is in high demand. Many of the organization’s classes will lead to marketable certifications. These certifications are important credentials and validations of knowledge and experience. Training that will be provided include CISCO Certified Network Associate (CCNA), CISCO Certified Network Professional (CCNP), Microsoft Back Office, and Human Resource Management Course. In addition, VITT will provide education to familiarize veterans and their families with the federal employment hiring and application process.
The mission of Iron Warrior Foundation is to provide support to U.S. military veterans affected by the emotional and physical trauma suffered during active-duty. Keystone Iron Warriors is a 501 (C) (3) Tax Exempt Organization under the Internal Revenue Service. Our goal is to empower these veterans and their families, strengthen their quality-of-life, and educate the community about veterans who have been impacted by post-military service. The main focus of Iron Warriors, Inc. is to assist those veterans that suffer from debilitating injuries like amputations, burns, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Iron Warrior Foundation recognizes the need for an assistance service dog program. For a veteran with a serious limb injury, amputation, or traumatic brain injury, a service dog can provide the stability and support they need to climb up and down stairs or get in and out of a chair, and offer piece of mind while they cope with their injuries suffered in combat. Through a local certified service K9 trainer, Iron Warrior Foundation hosts multiple fundraisers to provide a qualified Pennsylvania veteran a certified service companion. With the assistance of a service K9 dog, wounded veterans can lead more independent lives. These dogs can help reduce or eliminate their partners’ reliance on assistance appliances, and can enhance their ability to move about in public places by performing daily routines they may not otherwise have been able to achieve without out the help of another individual.
Operation Family Caregiver (OFC) is a free and confidential program for adult family members or friends caring for a military service member or post-9/11 veteran with visible or invisible (post-traumatic stress or traumatic brain) injuries or adjustment concerns. One of our coaches meets 1:1 with the same caregiver in a place of the caregiver’s choosing (including via Skype and/or phone when not near us or that’s what a caregiver prefers). The program is evidence-based with statistically significant improvements of caregiver depression and health status, as well as reduction of children’s anxiety. Our coach meets with the caregiver four times over 4 – 6 months to support positive solutions to problems the caregiver identifies. In between each meeting a phone calls is made to the caregiver. The emphasis is on the FOCUS acronym, which expands to: Facts, Optimism, Creativity, Understanding, and Solve. OFC is not psychotherapy, though coaches may help clients identify concerns they can share with their therapists.
Every child possesses unique talents. Our mission is to help each child discover and develop these talents along with the child’s self-esteem. By providing praise, encouragement, guidance and superior academic instruction, our program will result in the child becoming a more confident, responsible and productive adult in society.
MilitaryConnection.com is one of the most comprehensive online directories of resources and information for military and veterans. Two major areas of focus are veteran jobs and veteran education. This site has something for everyone! Military Connection works hard and uses their significant reach to help non-profits and associations serving the military and veteran communities. When the next tour is back home, it’s on MilitaryConnection.com, the “Go To Site”.
Comes A Soldier’s Whisper is a collection of wartime letters written by a decorated 101st Airborne paratrooper with reflection and hope for the future in a book that recognizes the impact that all returning soldiers have on our lives, past, present and future.
“We are grateful to Operation First Response for their interest in our project. A portion of profits will be contributed to OFR to assist in the continuing of their important and valuable work with America’s veterans.” God bless and support our troops!