About Us

The purpose of this project is to share our military and veteran student's voices with their peers in order to further a sense of community and understanding.  At UCCS we value our military and veteran students, we want their voices to be heard and we want them to be an integral part of our campus community. The Digital Veteran Stories project opens an entire world of new perspectives for our students to experience, so that we can all come together in our efforts to better ourselves.

If you want to provide feedback about this project or have any questions please e-mail vetsupp@uccs.edu



Student Stories

Tara Burns
Tara - 33:39
0-5: Marines, presidential security detail
5-10: Traveling with the president, equipment needed and maintained
10-15: Marines and Navy, dress uniforms ("blues"), politicians and the public and military personnel
15-20: First time working near the president (Bush), difference between real military and the movies, enlistment reasons, effect on family
20-25: Reasons for joining the Marines, being a female in the Marines, gender roles and behavior expectations in the Marines
25-30: "Don't ask, don't tell", gender roles and behavior expectations in the Marines, reasons for leaving the marines
30-33: Things missed about the Marines, differences in military experiences.

Rushana Williams
Rushana - 46:19
1-5: Being a woman in the military/gender, sexual assault in the military - reality vs expectation, family relations (mother was a single parent, enlisted).
5-10: Enlisting and deployment to Iraq (age 17-18), Pregnancy/early motherhood in the Army, women in the Army.
10-15:Small number of women in her unit, terminology "female", training for survival in combat situations, "Trauma stories"
15-20: "Trauma stories" and effect on life afterward, normal and reality - on deployment and afterward, now woman in National Guard in new specialty.
20-25:Artillery and duties, effects on hearing, being a woman in the military, privacy, uniform.
25-30: Being a woman in the military (cont.), hair and appearance.
30-35:Personal hygiene and sleeping arrangements on deployment
34-40: Military and legal behavior requirements, behavior motivations, class structure in military and civilian societies
40-45:Class structure (cont.), experience of transition, thoughts on people interacting with veterans.

Joseph Berg
Joseph - 44:13
0-5: Changes in Army pre to post-9/11/2011, culture, warfare.
5-10: Personal and mental toll of a decade of war on service members, relations with former veterans vs others, returning from deployment.
10-15: Describing deployment and topography of Iraq, Samara, Observations of Iraq - life of ordinary people.
15-20: Role and duties of a battle captain, experiences.
20-25: Experiences as battle captain (cont.), security contractors and civilian workers.
25-30: Comparing past and present frustrations and responsibilities, managing information past and present, military career that prepared him, september 11, 2001.
30-35: Cavalry Units - composition, how they operated, personal health and taking command of unit.
35-40: How he and others managed command, effects on personal life and health, 2011 - closing base in Tikrit.
40-44: 2011 (cont.) - coping mechanisms and consequences, thoughts on people he has worked with and continuing situation in the region.

Jacob Shelling
Jacob - 40:31
0-5: Enlistment and deployment, buildings and scavenging materials, ground and air conditions.
5-10: Situation and responsibilities of medic, Afghan people, effects of environment and war, preparation for deployment as medic.
10-15: Preparation for deployment as medic (cont.), units and hierarchy/relationships, first emergency experience.
15-20: Supply situation in emergency, communication about and with patients, impressions of the culture of the Afghans.
20-25: Treating injured Afghans, working with different branches of service, the stories on tells, compartmentalization and consequences and choices.
25-30: Conscientious objection.
30-35: Medical experience and ethics, experiences with other students, military experience.
35-40: Military experience and expectations, advice to others.

Jayme - 37:13
0-5 min: Interviewing for forward surgical team position. First deployment (Jalalabad). Function of forward surgical unit. Medical care of injured civilians, children.
5-10 min: First experience treating severe injuries, grenade. Losing the patient. Afghan death traditions. 
10-15 min: Medics' experience of death. Taking care of one's own. Article 15 - non-judicial punishment. 
15-20 min: Commanding officer. Responsibilities and opportunities. Living conditions. 
20-25 min: Getting along/keeping sane/pastimes. Transitioning to school - what needed to be done. 
25-30 min: First day of class. Reaction to other students perceptions. 
30-35 min: Reaction to other students perceptions continued. Feelings of veteran - difference of experience. Reasons for joining military and serving. 
35-38 min: Friendship and bridging the gap. Being out of the military.
Ramses - 22:04
0-5: Joining the military – looking for adventure, Training, Afghanistan – his role
5-10: Communicating in combat situations, Reality of patrol and daily life, Combat Infantry Badge – what does it mean, Experiences on deployment
10-15: Sleeping at FOB, Shared experiences, understanding - communication and social media, Responsibility to take care of others, teaching younger, Relating to others without military experience
15-20: How skills acquired during service can be used, Encourage people to experience life - live life in a responsible way, find adventure, make your own way
20-22: Using experience in school - relating to younger students, How to teach and discuss the transition from military to school - difficulty, how things do not change (death by PowerPoint)
Chris - 21:49
0-5: Joining the military – expectations, choices, Military police, Green to Gold, ROTC, Ranger School
5-10 Ranger School (cont.), Afghanistan - mountaintop base, day to day functions - problems and solutions
10-15: Afghanistan – mountaintop base (cont.), Afghan National Army (ANA), Losing his mentor (Captain) - Injured in Afghanistan, Bringing belongings to the family
15-20: Returning to FOB Bostick, Going to COP Keenan (where Captain was killed), FA24 – telecommunications engineer program, Telecommunication equipment
20-22: Perspective on service; what he gained
Stephen Martin
Stephen - 36:20
0-5: Personal and family history, Basic Training
5-10: Deployment to Iraq, Relationship with recruiter
10-15: Recruiter (cont.)
Relationship with first team leader
15-20: Continuing relationships in the military, Personal development opportunities vs standard operating, procedure
20-25: Opportunities (cont.), Experiences in Europe, Types of leadership - personal effects of being given goal to reach
25-30: Draw down – reenlistment changes. Green to Gold, Differences in going to school after military service
- independence
- skills
30-35: Differences in going to school after military service (cont.)
Differences between military and civilian life, Transition from military to school
- support
- programs