FOURTH VETERANS IN SOCIETY CONFERENCE

Veterans, globalized: veterans and their societies in international perspective.

26-28 March 2018

Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center 

Roanoke, Virginia, USA

Posters &

works in progress

Poster talks /

Works in progress

Panel 8

Tuesday, 3:30-4:45.  Monroe Room

Posters will be on display all day Tuesday; this afternoon session provides opportunities to interact with their authors. This session also creates opportunities to engage with other scholars seeking feedback and, potentially, collaborators at the early stages of current research projects. 

Exploring the reconstruction of a military veteran’s identity in an adult agricultural education program

Crystal A. Kyle

Kim Niewolny

Virginia Tech

Poster. Military veterans often discharge with not only the physical scars of battle, but many times harbor mental and emotional distress that can inhibit their abilities to successfully reintegrate into civilian life. For some, adult agricultural programs may provide an essential educational experience to help them face physical and mental challenges, begin a new career in agriculture and construct new civilian identities. Therefore, the purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how such a program creates new spaces for veterans. Utilizing the micro Symbolic Interactionism and the macro Cultural Capital theories through an ethnographic case study methodology, we illustrate how military veterans are connecting with, and making new meanings of military symbols in an agricultural educational context. Implications for this study include understanding the importance of agricultural education to address veteran inclusion into a civilian society, and an in-depth framework to study military veterans in similar agricultural education programming.       

“I changed my stilettos for combat boots”:
the storylines of women service members

Nancy Fox Edele

University of West Florida

Poster. Stories by women service members in writing classes and reading groups ally with published memoirs, poems, videotexts, visuals, and creative non-fiction to form a new genre of literature in print and online. This poster is an illustration from the dissertation, “American Athena,” which investigates these several acts of storytelling to view the worlds these women inhabit – military and civilian – through their eyes. The most relevant and productive approach to analysis of these stories is Grounded Theory, which allows narratives to speak rhetorically without the researcher imposing known and perhaps ill-fitting theory, and leads to invention of more relevant theoretical categories. This study identifies three distinct categories that emerge clearly from Grounded Theory work with this data, and construct an “Athena Model” for this, and future, analysis: (1) a quest for service and leadership; (2) critical engagement with an honored culture; (3) discovery / loss / recovery of a valued self.

Taking stock of military veterans’ human capital in an agricultural context

Crystal A. Kyle

Inga Haugen

Virginia Tech

Poster. As military veterans discharge attention has shifted from particular interventions that focus on physical or mental health, to a more holistic transition back to society (Farrigan, 2013). This includes their transition into a new career. For a growing number of veterans, their career involves agriculture. Therefore, this literature review focuses on assessing multiple skills and attributes of military veterans as they relate to an agricultural profession. Exploring the Community Capital Framework with an emphasis on human capital, we demonstrate how veterans can be empowered as they gain autonomy in agriculture. This review was completed by surveying and synthesizing relevant human capital articles, books and other sources pertaining to military personnel and agriculture. A summary of this research was compiled into the findings. This review permits a more appreciative support for the creation of a self-assessment that will assist veterans in the mapping of their military skills into an agricultural context.

 

Reference

Farrigan, T. (2013). Rural Veterans at a Glance. Retrieved from

http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/1216115/eb25.pdf

The following abstracts represent some of the emerging projects whose authors seek your input.  You don't have to have submitted an abstract to be the center of a conversation: spaces will be identifiec for topics of common interest (eg, arts, civic engagement, therapy...).

 
Education as source of relief for PTSD

John Garot

DeVry University

 

Work in progress node. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental condition that develops as the result of a horrifying, shocking, or major event which may cause life changing effects.  Symptoms can include extreme anxiety, flashbacks, nightmares, inability to sleep, and disorientation.  Thoughts of suicide and harm to others may also occur (Mayo Clinic, 2014).  With proper analysis and treatment, however, those affected may well return to lives of normalcy and once again achieve success in society (National Institute for Mental Health, 2016).  Education provides relief.  Whether online or on-ground, taking courses toward a career goal can help PTSD veterans cope.  This study will explore education as a guide to recovery (Red Badge Project. n.d.).  Although PTSD is applicable to both the civilian and military sectors, the focus will be on the military insofar as the effects of war have caused severe mental damage and many deaths.  It is estimated that as many as 22 (or more) military veterans commit suicide each day (Basu, 2013).

 
Social context and reintegration

Eric Hodges

University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee

 

Work in progress node. The proposed comparative case study is a work in a progress that will examine how social context interacts with veteran reintegration and refugee resettlement. To explore the role of social context for the integration of both groups, I will utilize intergroup contact theory (Allport, 1954). The study hypothesizes that both veteran and refugee transitions can be better understood and improved by examining the social environment during the process, as that understanding can highlight potential risk and protective factors that may buffer or exacerbate problems. To explore the effectiveness of this hypothesis, I will compare two non-profit organizations that attempt to put this theory into practice. The Veteran-Civilian Dialogue, which hosts discussion groups with veterans and civilians involved in facilitated conversations around the impact of war upon both groups; and Welcoming America, a non-profit organization that seeks to build inclusive communities by connecting refugees with local citizens in community service events.

This Veterans in Society Conference is based at
in collaboration with 
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Veterans in Society

an initiative at Virginia Tech 

Co-directors

Dr Bruce Pencek

Email: bpencek@vt.edu

Newman Library (MC 0434)

Virginia Tech
560 Drillfield Dr
Blacksburg, VA   24061

Dr James Dubinsky

Email: dubinsky@vt.edu

Department of English (MC 0112)

Virginia Tech
181 Turner St NW
Blacksburg, VA   24061