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IUPUI to host appreciation luncheon for veterans as campus continues Veterans Week observance

IUPUI OVMP Graduation Recognition  Coin
IUPUI OVMP Graduation Recognition Coin


November 7, 2012

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INDIANAPOLIS -- IUPUI Veterans Week 2012 continues Thursday (Nov. 8, 2012) with the third annual Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Armed Forces Appreciation Luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., in Room 450 of the Campus Center, 420 University Blvd.

The luncheon, organized by the IUPUI Office for Veterans and Military Personnel as a “thank you” to military personnel and veterans, provides an opportunity for campus and community veterans and their supporters to build camaraderie. More than 100 people are expected to attend this year’s event, which is open to the campus and Indianapolis veteran community.

Other activities scheduled for Veterans Week include a community service project on Thursday and a food drive to benefit homeless and disadvantaged veterans.

“The mission of this office is to provide a comprehensive range of resources. We also aim to increase campus awareness on veterans’ issues. We always aim to recognize and make our student veterans feel welcome on this campus. By hosting a week of activities, they feel like they are appreciated at IUPUI and their service has not been in vain or forgotten,” said Winnie Wilson, manager of the IUPUI Office for Veterans and Military Personnel.

Almost 1,100 veterans are enrolled as students on the IUPUI campus, and another 250 veterans are employed as faculty or staff. IUPUI has the largest and one of the most diverse student veteran populations of any four-year university in Indiana.

Under the leadership of Wilson, an 11-year U.S. Army veteran, the Office for Veterans and Military Personnel has initiated a number of unique services for IUPUI veterans. This month, the office will conduct its second orientation session geared specifically for veterans who enroll as first-time students in spring 2013. That orientation, first held this past summer,  includes one-on-one counseling to ensure each veteran understands his or her available benefits.

The IUPUI campus repeatedly has earned national recognition for its first-year programs designed to help all students succeed by adjusting to the transition from high school to campus life. Working in conjunction with the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, the IUPUI campus unit which enrolls the most veterans, the IUPUI veterans office has established a first-year seminar course specifically for veterans. The office has plans to create similar first-year programs for student veterans enrolled in other campus schools.

Throughout the school year, a new partnership with the Indianapolis Vet Center provides on-site readjustment counseling services for veterans.

The Office for Veterans and Military Personnel also presents special coins to graduating student veterans during a graduation recognition ceremony.

As part of the week-long celebration honoring the nation’s veterans, IUPUI will also participate in the Armistice Day ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Indiana War Memorial in downtown Indianapolis.

IUPUI sponsored Warrior Wellness Day from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at the IUPUI Campus Center, 420 University Blvd. Various campus and community units were on hand to provide information and services for veterans and their family members.

The Indy Mobile Vet Center performed free wellness checks for service men and women. The School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and the Indiana University School of Medicine, both part of the IUPUI campus, manned information booths regarding services for student veterans, their families and community supporters.

The IU School of Medicine is among the more than 100 medical schools across the country that signed a pledge recognizing the sacrifice and commitment of military service members, veterans and their families. Through first lady Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces Initiative, the medical schools made a commitment to find solutions to health issues troubling veterans and their families and use their integrated missions in education, research and clinical care to train the next generation of physicians to meet the needs of those who serve the nation.

The IU School of Medicine seeks to interest veterans in research studies that hope to unravel mental and physical health issues unique to service. One on-going study is looking at the connection between chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder, while another is exploring methods to optimize treatment for veterans suffering chronic pain.