Veterans and Military Center | Photo by Grace Ramsdell | The Wright State Guardian
Wright State University’s (WSU) Veteran and Military Center (VMC) is dedicated to helping veterans and active-duty servicemen achieve their academic and professional goals. The VMC exists to support military-involved students, promote inclusion and has inspired many student-employees to lift up the voices of local veterans.
Functions of the VMC
VMC Director Seth Gordon spends most of his time helping military-connected students. This is because one of the main tasks of the VMC is to help veterans with questions about the processes involved in the Department of Veteran Affairs educational benefits (“GI Bill”). However, the VMC’s main goal is to create a welcoming and positive experience for military students and their families.
“Our vision is to make WSU a space where veteran and military-connected students feel like they belong. When we are not focused on benefits we are trying to assess what that means and how to provide students the support they need to be successful in their academic, professional, and personal goals,” Gordon said.
As with many organizations, events and activities have been affected by the coronavirus as students are not as present on campus. The VMC is hosting a handful of events this summer and fall to gradually work towards a sense of normalcy.
“This summer and early Fall through October , every Friday between 12-3 p.m. we are hosting Corn Hole and Hot Dogs outside of Allyn Hall. People have been away for so long we want to do things that start to bring students back together. So we are starting with some low commitment events to gauge their interests,” Gordon said.
Impact of the VMC on Bradshaw
WSU student and Air Force veteran Katie Bradshaw worked in the VMC as part of the Veteran Voices Project (VVP) in which veterans are given an opportunity to share their story via interviews. These interviews are filmed and then uploaded to WSU’s VVP YouTube account. Bradshaw helped to conduct the interviews and says that hearing their stories had a tremendous impact on her life.
“It allowed me to work with other veterans, which I found to be comfortable in a way that only veterans can understand. The opportunity also allowed me to work through some prior complicated feelings I had towards my military experience. Conducting the interviews had a lasting impact on my life, which I will always be grateful for,” Bradshaw said.
Highlighting the Litten family
John, Dave, Larry, Kenny, Jerry, Art and Steve Litten all served in the Air Force. With this, the seven brothers served a combined 137 years of service.
According to the Dayton Daily News, President Richard Nixon even wrote a letter to their parents to thank their sons for their tremendous dedication to the United States.
“I understand that all seven of your sons have served with the Air Force, six of them in southeast Asia. You must be extremely proud of the outstanding contribution which your sons have made to our country,” Nixon said.
When conducting interviews with Larry and Gerald Litten for the VVP, Bradshaw and her peers decided to help honor the family by raising money for a memorial bench dedicated to the Litten family.
“We were able to raise the money and survive the setbacks of Covid and finally the dedication date for the memorial bench is set for July 20 at 10 a.m.” Bradshaw said.
WSU students and the general public are invited to attend this dedication honoring the Litten family.