KGUN 9NewsLocal News


UArizona prepared for vets distraught over Afghanistan

VETS Center supports student veterans
Posted at 7:22 PM, Aug 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-31 22:26:00-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — It can be traumatic for veterans who fought in Afghanistan to see what’s going on there now. Some of those veterans are University of Arizona students now and the University is preparing to help them with the stresses of watching Afghanistan fall.

The 20 year war in Afghanistan lasted long enough to last the lifetime of many of the students at University of Arizona. Before coming to campus, some of those students served in the war zone.

Now, UA’s VETS Center is preparing to help vets who may be distraught from what they see now in the country they risked their lives to defend.

Center Director Bruce Grissom is a UA graduate and a veteran of 24 years in the Navy. He says the center’s focus is on supporting vets as they pursue their degrees, but it’s ready to give student veterans a place to sort out their thoughts on Afghanistan.

“There is certainly a wide disparity of emotions, as we move forward, and watch on TV what, what we're seeing come out of Afghanistan. And so certainly some people feel that the course may or may not be the best. No one in the center, none of our students in the center have expressed that emotion that it was a worthless effort.”

Grissom says so far, he has not seen a strong reaction from UA’s student veterans, perhaps because they’re concentrating on the school year just beginning. He says there could be a delayed reaction.

“And as the Vet Center, what we will do with our students, certainly is keep an eye out throughout this semester and even into the spring semester to look for indicators that people may be struggling, either academically or in their personal life.”

And he says the University has strong counseling resources to help vets cope with whatever challenge they meet.