Military Community

JUNE 2017-Ashford University Newsletter

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Military Development and Engagement

The Military Community Newsletter at Ashford University was created for you to learn about and share community events, resources, and key topics relevant to service members, veterans, and their families nationwide. Please contact Ashford's Military Development and Engagement Specialist if you have questions or additional resources you would like to share with your fellow military community.


  • June is PTSD Awareness Month
  • Career and Alumni Services
  • Military Education Outreach Team and Events
  • Operation Red Wings Observance - June 28, 2005

  • Military Appreciation Event at Spring Commencement

  • Student Veterans Organization Election: Introducing Your New Board

  • Pro Tips for a successful military transition: Learn to Tell your Story

  • 8 NFL Players Who Served in the US Military

  • Get Connected with Military CHAMPS
  • Ashford Alumni and OIF/OEF Veteran Finds Peace Through Writing

  • Nationwide Conference Calendar by Month: US Veterans Magazine

  • Previous Editions

June is PTSD Awareness Month

What if PTSD Is More Physical Than Psychological?

A new study supports what a small group of military researchers has suspected for decades: that modern warfare destroys the brain.

Nearly 350,000 service members have been given a diagnosis of traumatic brain injury over the past 15 years, many of them from blast exposure. The real number is likely to be much higher, because so many who have enlisted are too proud to report a wound that remains invisible (Worth, R. F., 2016, June 10).

Neuropathologist, Daniel Perl, and his team examined the brains of several service members that died and had a history of being exposed to a blast during their military career. All of them had the same pattern of scarring in the same places, which appeared to correspond to the brain’s centers for sleep, cognition and other classic brain-injury trouble spots (Worth, R. F., 2016, June 10).

If Perl’s discovery is confirmed by other scientists — and if one of blast’s short-term signatures is indeed a pattern of scarring in the brain — then the implications for the military and for society at large could be vast. Much of what has passed for emotional trauma may be reinterpreted, and many veterans may step forward to demand recognition of an injury that cannot be definitively diagnosed until after death. There will be calls for more research, for drug trials, for better helmets and for expanded veteran care. But these palliatives are unlikely to erase the cruel message that lurks, unavoidable, behind Perl’s discovery: Modern warfare destroys your brain (Worth, R. F., 2016, June 10).

Worth, R. F. (2016, June 10). What if PTSD Is More Physical Than Psychological? Retrieved April 13, 2017, from

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Career and Alumni Services

Preparing you for present and future opportunities, Ashford University’s team of Career Specialists provide you with customized career-planning, resume and cover letter review, one-on-one coaching, and job search assistance to help you reach your goals.

As an Ashford University student or alumnus, you are given every resource you can use to navigate the challenges of today’s job market. By working with Career Services, you can search for jobs, plan your career, and reach your greatest potential.

You can also contact Career Services at 866.974.5700 ext. 20057, or email to take advantage of these features:

  • Career guidance
  • Job postings and job search assistance
  • Resume and cover letter reviews and guidance
  • Resume Builder
  • Interview preparation and practice
  • Individualized career coaching
  • Networking skills and strategies
  • Professional development webinars
  • Skills and personality assessments

Military Education Outreach Team and Events

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The Military Education Outreach (MEO) Team acts as a liaison between the military education community at Department of Defense (DoD) installations worldwide and the university. The team visits installations to meet with current students, attend education fairs and base graduation recognition ceremonies, and meet with education staff to ensure Ashford students have the support and resources they need to be successful. The general email for the team is
Click For Military Education Outreach Team and Events

Meet the Ashford Military Outreach Team and find out when they will be on a base near you!

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Operation Red Wings Observance- June 28, 2005

June 28, 2005: One of the worst days in US Special Operations History. Made famous by the book and movie Lone Survivor, the operation informally referred to as the Battle of Abbas Ghar was a combined joint military operation of Marines, Navy SEALs and later Army Rangers. Deep behind enemy lines east of the Asadabad in the Hindu Kush of Afghanistan, this mission went terribly wrong, leaving only one survivor. As many men and women who sign up for service know, giving your life for your country is one of the risks you willingly take.

May you forever remember June 28, 2005 and the heroic efforts and sacrifices of our nation's special operators. May you hold with reverence the ultimate sacrifice that they made while engaged in that fierce fire fight on the front lines of the global war on terrorism (GWOT).

Click for A brief history of Operation Red Wings

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Military Appreciation Event at Spring Commencement

At the Spring Commencement Military Appreciation Event Ashford had the honor of hosting our spring graduates and their families. During the event we honored the graduates with refreshments, had fellow peer Ashley Greer sing the National Anthem, and the Young Marines Color Guard present the Colors as we recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

During the event we had the privilege of hearing from our President Dr. Craig Swenson on the importance of what it means to serve, with your family alongside you and supporting you while you earn your degree.

Among the graduates was Krysta Yost who served as Ashford University's Vice President of the Student Veterans Organization for the past year. She expressed her appreciation for having the opportunity to connect with her peers within the SVO and what her experience at Ashford has been like. She expressed her excitement to be among her peers who personally know the struggle to balance life, service, and school all at the same time. She is grateful for the community she has built and will continue to use within the SVO even as an alumnus.

At the end of the event, Ashford graduates were given a special piece of regalia that set them apart during the commencement ceremony, allowing them to see their brothers and sisters in arms who were also graduating along side them. Congrats, Spring Class of 2017!

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Student Veterans Organization Election: Introducing Your New Board

The votes are in!! We are excited to see what the next year of leadership will bring to the Student Veterans Organization. If you are not currently part of the SVO join now on LinkedIn.

Congratulations President Brandon Koutalidis, Vice President Isaac Darko, and Project Manager Arielle Vain.

We would also like to acknowledge Tom Vasko, Alisha Swift, and Martin Robinson for the tough competition they brought to the table. The leadership team decided to create the new role of SVO Ambassador. Each SVO Ambassador will serve alongside the leadership to take the group to the next level.

Get connected with the new leadership, start networking, and make your voice heard in the SVO. If you missed the chance to submit your nomination, don't worry, you can still take an active role as an ambassador. Join the group and see how you can get more involved.

Pro Tips for a successful military transition: Learn to Tell your Story

Pro Tips for a successful military transition: Learn to Tell your Story

8 NFL Players who Served in the US Military

There is no denying the level of talent in the NFL can often leave spectators speechless. However did you know some of these athletes gave up the chance of getting into the Hall of Fame, or earning a Super Bowl ring so they could trade in their cleats for boots and join the armed forces? One player was serving in the Navy while also playing for the Patriots! Find out who these players are and learn more about their stories here:

Get Connected with Military CHAMPS

Ashford understands the challenges of being a military-affiliated student while pursuing higher education. We have developed a program dedicated to addressing those unique needs. It is our goal to pair up Military Mentees with Military Mentors so there is common ground and cultural understanding where the pair speaks the same language.

Deployments, frequent moves, and field exercises can all be distracting when you are attending classes. Connect with a Mentor who can help navigate those overwhelming waters, provide resources, tips, and personal experience to help you be as successful as possible while also building a relationship with another peer.

Top Reasons Mentees Join CHAMPS:

  • To get to know another student on a personal level
  • For support and guidance on managing time and other commitments
  • For advice and encouragement as you begin your academic journey
  • Tips to navigate the Ashford Writing Center, Library and Student Portal.

Sign up to get a Mentor

Sign up to become a Mentor

Ashford Alumni and OIF/OEF Veteran Finds Peace Through Writing

My name is Seth Bleuer. I am an OIF and OEF Veteran and Ashford alumnus. I attended Ashford University while I was serving active duty for the Army National Guard and graduated with a BA in Military Studies with a minor in History in 2013. I was also fortunate enough to work at the beautiful Ashford Campus in Clinton, Iowa after I left the service. It was during an English class where I was given a creative writing assignment that I first realized I could write about things that happened in Iraq and Afghanistan that I had trouble talking about. It would take a few years to realize the full potential of my own odyssey to making peace with my wars.

When I did start writing again, it started out as a form of therapy for me and it sort of accidentally turned into fiction writing. After a few short stories I realized I had more to say. A lot more as it turns out. After years of writing and rewriting, I finished my debut novel and it comes out June 23, 2017. I never in a million years would've dreamed I would be publishing a novel! My experience in the military gave me the drive to succeed and a passion for telling the stories of our service members’ experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Ashford University gave me to tools and knowledge to do so.

While my novel, Guy’s Odyssey, doesn’t come out until June, my early feedback has been outstanding and very encouraging. All three of my reviews from Readers’ Favorite gave it 5 stars!

"Haunting. A chilling and captivating novel." -Neil A White for Readers’ Favorite

"Rich in imagery and the surreal experience of modern war, Guy’s Odyssey is one of the best novels I have read about the experience of American soldiers in Iraq." -Ray Simmons for Readers’ Favorite

It's been a long crazy odyssey for me over a twelve-year military career, two deployments, and now publishing a novel. But that is how I ended up making peace with my wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, through writing.

Nationwide Conference Calendar

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Nationwide Conference Calendar by Month

Stay up to date on nationwide events that could impact you. Career expos, transition workshops, and everything in between. Presented by US Veterans Magazine.

Previous Editions

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Previous Military Community Newsletter Editions

Click here to view the Military Community Newsletter Archives in case you missed a past edition.

* The newsletter may contain now or in the future links to other websites, such as links to military charities, discounts or offers, or other third parties that may provide services or products to you. These links and this information is being provided to you for your convenience and as a resource. We are not responsible for the privacy practices, the content of, or any other actions of such other websites or their owners or operators, information they may collect or information they may share. Further, the inclusion of an organization on this newsletter does not indicate an endorsement of such organization (or of any religious or political point of view promoted by such organization) by Ashford University or its affiliates.

Editor: Stephanie Kinman: Military Development and Engagement Specialist

Stephanie Kinman is a six year Navy Veteran. She spent two of those years attached to a Marine unit. Her personal and professional experience provides understanding to unique challenges military students face. She achieved her undergraduate degree in Psychology from University of Phoenix and her MSW with a focus on Military and Veteran Populations from University of Southern California.

Stephanie is dedicated to the military student population and brings her education, social work background and personal experience, both in the military and in the classroom, to provide resources, community events, and hot topic webinars to the military students at Ashford University.

She is the creator of the Ashford Military Community Newsletter, oversees the CHAMPS Peer Mentor Program for military affiliated students, and recently kicked off the Military Speaker Series as a means to elevate military cultural competency university wide.

Please connect with her if you are interested in being featured in the newsletter, making a contribution, or looking to mentor other military students.