Guiding Veterans Back to Civilian Life
Steve Adubato sits down with Ed Dennis, Asst. VP, Office of Military & Veterans Affairs, Berkeley College, to discuss how he uses his experience in the military to coach other veterans. Dennis also shares the top 3 challenges veterans face when making the transition back into civilian life.
"We are honored to be joined by Mr. Edward Dennis, Assistant Vice President, Office of Military and Veteran Affairs, Berkeley College. Good to see you Ed. Thank you Steve, it's good to see you too. 21 years in the Army? Yes. First of all, thank you so much for your service. Oh, you're welcome. What was the biggest lesson you took away from that experience about life? About life? That everything has its place. And you know, there's always challenges in life. But if you take the time to sit back and look at them, you know, come up with the best plan for yourself, then everything usually works out. It's interesting. You were talking about plans. We've talked to your colleagues at Berkeley for a long time. I've done some speaking down there. They also support what we do with public broadcasting. But what I'm curious about is the transition that veterans have to make, need to make, must make into society and its connection to college. You say it... you got to make the right choice? Oh absolutely. What does that mean? Well, there's kind of a nuance when it comes to that. When you're in the military, you don't know what you need to know as a veteran because everybody's still in. Right. It's when you get out that you find out. So what I talk to them about, or you know, what they should really consider is, you know, while I'm in there where do I want to go to school? And then really think about the school. Does it line up with what you want to accomplish education-wise? And is it, you know, your learning style and the environment you want to be in? And then really put the research and time into picking the school you want because, you know, some veterans will just get out and they'll follow the theme. You know, go to college, get a degree, get a job. But it really matters what you do while you're in college. How did you do it? I'm a little different. I went in the military when I was 17 out of high school, and like most veterans, almost 90 percent of veterans, I'm the first generation to go to college. First? Yes. Was it part of the plan for you? Sort of. When I was a Private in basic training, and I realized this wasn't too much fun, I thought about going to college. Well how did you make the decision as to where to go though? In the military? No no. When you were getting out and going to college? Oh, that's where I..."