UWSP offers special class for veterans

By David Chrisinger
10 Nov 14

By Elizabeth Schilder

Tuesday is Veterans Day. As we prepare to honor those who have served our country, one UW-Stevens Point alum is working to help our vets transition back into not only civilian but college life.

“Back From the Front” isn’t your typical freshman seminar. This class is comprised of all veterans brought together by instructor David Chrisinger.

“What we do in this class is to show them that they already have the skills they need to be successful in college,” he explained.

Chrisinger started the program after helping his friend transition back to civilian life after serving two tours of duty in Afghanistan.

“I realized at that moment that I didn’t know what post 9-11 veterans were going through,” Chrisinger said. “I lived nine years while we’re at war largely oblivious.”

Following that realization, Chrisinger dug in reading up on what had helped veterans of previous wars make the transition back home successfully.

“What I wanted to do in this class is to show how veterans throughout American history have dealt with coming home from war.”

While the lessons are helpful, Chrisinger told NewsChannel 7 he thinks his students get even more from class discussions.

“I think a lot of us have kind of made friends in here,” student Joshua Thunder said. “Compared to my other classes, I mean I talk to people, but it’s not the same.”

“This class, they’ve shown me that you can be broken and resilient. You can be wounded and strong,” Chrisinger said.

It’s that strength they’ll continue to depend on moving forward on the home front.

“They see this class as their chance to show they have what it takes to be leaders in their communities.”

In the next four years, more than one million vets will be making the transition back to civilian life. But, as of now, Chrisinger said he only knows of four other schools besides UWSP that offer a class like this to help vets make that transition.

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