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Veteran and history graduate student helps other veterans tell their story

Alan Flurry

Former cadet at the United States Military Academy Tom McShea will soon return to West Point on a two-year assignment to teach, after he finishes a master’s degree in American history at UGA:

And while at UGA, he’s recording interviews for UGA’s Student Veterans Oral History Project.

Working out of the Student Veterans Resource Center,  he asks open-ended questions and the students talk about what they want to talk about.

It can also be helpful for them to sit down and get their story out, he said. Maybe it’s something they’ve never told anyone before.

It can be a struggle to get veterans to talk—even to a seasoned veteran like McShea.

Veterans come to UGA, and they keep to themselves. They like to take care of their own business and stay squared away, he explained.

They’ve been in the military. They’re self-sufficient. They come here older and approach college more seriously than someone straight out of high school, according to McShea.

“Your story doesn’t end after you get out of the military,” he said. “You’re not just a student at UGA or a lance corporal in the Marines. What brought you here matters. Researchers decades down the road will place a lot of value in these stories.”

Great story and actually one of a package of terrific new stories on the student-veteran experience at UGA.

Have a great weekend, everyone. And as coach says, Go Dawgs!



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