By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Drexel University and the William Penn Chapter of the Association of the US Army held a military benefits workshop for veterans on Thursday at the Cira Center.
Keynote speaker Vietnam Veteran Gene Clark is a Veteran Benefits Counselor at Drexel University. He says thousands of military men and women are headed back home, but integrating back into civilian life is harder than you might think.
“When I came home from Vietnam, I knew where I was going back to. I grew up there, but up there was not the same. It had changed, I had changed. And these men and women are no different. They have changed.”
Michael A. Clifford and his wife Victoria both served in Iraq for four years during the Bush Administration.
“It’s a tall order to find your place in your place in the career world and the academic world,” said Michael.
“We want to get the same fulfillment we had serving the military,” said Victoria.
Clark says veterans should take advantage of the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Depending on length of active duty service, a veteran could attend college for free at either a public or private institution. Clark says Veterans should take the opportunity to build a better life for their family and to give back to the community.
“We tell them, if you think you’re ready, go for it. If you don’t think you’re ready, go for it at a slower pace. I just want people to stop and think about what they are doing in life and ask themselves the question- is this why I served?””