Coming Home

Veterans of war face a host of issues when they return home. Some must cope with physical injuries sustained during deployment, and many more suffer lingering psychological trauma. Veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan came home to a struggling economy, a Veterans Administration in shambles, and a public unsure about how to view their efforts. They often felt alienated from family and friends with whom they did not know how to talk about what they’d experienced.

How do these men and women deal with the stress? David Carrell ’16, who has done four tours in Iraq, says, “It helps to stay busy.” In 2013, he enrolled at Vassar as a member of the Veterans Posse Program, through which cohorts of ten veterans enroll as freshmen at selective colleges and receive four years of scholarship aid for college costs not covered by GI Bill® benefits. He says Vassar’s rigorous coursework is a helpful distraction from his preoccupations with war. He’s helping other veterans enroll in college through Operation Veteran Admission, a program he cofounded with fellow Posse veteran Joshua Ridley ’17.

Kara Fry Krauze ’93 also helps veterans bridge the civilian-military divide. Her writing workshop, “Voices From War,” helps them process and share their experiences, honing their communication skills along the way.

Read more about the many ways Carrell and Krauze are helping veterans “come home.”