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By ALAINA BARTEL
Daily News Staff Writer
Three veterans will be answering questions and presenting their stories during a panel discussion at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 9 in the University of Alaska Southeast Campus Library.
As a part of the Ask UAS lecture series, Jeremiah Tucker, Jamie King and Catherine Coats will be asked questions about life after service by the moderator, UAS Associate Professor of History, John Radzilowski, Ph.D.
Tucker graduated from UAS several years ago and is now in the workforce, King graduated from UAS this year and now pursuing her master’s degree, and Coats is about a year away from graduating from UAS, according to Radzilowski.
“They’re at different stages along that path, so they’re going to be able to offer somewhat different takes on that,” he said. “A couple of them served in combat; one Navy and two Army.”
The event, titled From Soldier to Civilian, will feature the three student or former student veterans, as they discuss their time as soldiers and the process of transitioning from a soldier to a civilian and college student.
“Once upon a time, it was not normal for veterans to go to college after (their service),” Radzilowski said. “Now, it’s sort of pretty standard to do that.”
They plan to talk about the good and bad experiences they’ve gone through, as it can be a challenge to transition, according to Radzilowski. He said a subject to be touched on is returning from the service and going through the process of filling out personal and work related paperwork through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
“All three of them are very intelligent and articulate,” Radzilowski said. “They’ll be happy to answer questions, and we’ll kind of open it up if people have questions for them or want to share their experiences. We’re really hoping for people to come and share their experiences as well.”
He added a goal behind the program is to highlight people in the Ketchikan area who are veterans, and to share their experiences with the community. Radzilowski said what he wants is for people to appreciate their stories.
“Veterans play an important part in our community,” he said. “They’re really people who are throughout the
ommunity here doing good stuff.”
Radzilowski said he also wants to highlight the role that the university plays, as there are “quite a few veterans that come through” the school and are there now.
He also hopes veterans and their families are able to attend the event, to share their experiences in the open forum.
“People should come on down, we’ll have refreshments and it’s a good chance to come down to the university,” he said, “and talk about a really important part of our community, and to show some appreciation too.”