The number of veterans using the Post-9/11 GI Bill passed 1 million in November according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. And the number of student veterans is expected to swell as another million service members transition out of the military over the next five years.
It raises the challenge of how to best help those Iraq and Afghanistan veterans transition into an educational setting.
So, a team of University of South Florida graduate students created the Coming Home research project. They had noticed there was very little research that followed the children of veterans after they returned from deployment and as they transitioned out of the military.
So the researchers designed a 20-minute survey to identify the physical and mental stresses experienced by student veterans and their children.
“According to literature, it has been shown that veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are experiencing more post-traumatic stress, depression, suicide,” said Esther Davila, a doctoral student with the USF Psychology Program. “So if we can kind of start pinpointing those, I think it will help streamline treatment for veterans a little better.”
The Coming Home team needs 100 student veterans to participate. The criteria are pretty straightforward:
- Must be a veteran of Iraq or Afghanistan
- Must be a student at any of the USF campuses or Hillsborough Community College Dale Mabry Campus
- Must have at least one child between 6 and 18 years old
Active-duty service members who fit those qualifications can also participate
The Coming Home project offers a $15 incentive for student veterans who complete the survey and they can be entered into a drawing for $100. But the true payoff could be their survey findings.
To participate, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 813-974-9222 and ask to speak to a member of the Coming Home team to set up an appointment.