Veteran film festival
Transitioning into the college atmosphere can be overwhelming for many veterans and active duty members, Patrick Young, coordinator of Towson’s Veterans Services, said.
After being micromanaged for years, veterans often have difficulty adjusting to complete freedom.
“It’s a complete culture shock. Not just school, but living life in general” Young said.
Senior Matthew Parker said it was difficult integrating into a new environment after serving eight years in Afghanistan.
“A lot of times it’s hard to go into college right out of the fleet because you don’t know what the hell your doing,” Parker said. “This group is just about helping people.”
The Veterans Center formed in 2010 to assist veterans with these issues. The group helps veterans adjust to the college experience by assisting with the enrollment process and helping them become active on campus.
Now, Towson’s Department of Electronic Media and Film has partnered with the Veterans Center to showcase films that examine the link between veterans and the student body, as well as dispel stigmas the community might have of post-military life.
The first film, Academy Award-nominated documentary, “Restrepo” was shown Oct. 5 to honor the death of filmmaker and photojournalist Tim Hetherington, who spent 15 months documenting the Afghanistan war in Korengal Valley.
“After Hetherington’s death, co-director Sebastian Junger started a nonprofit organization called Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues, a three-day first aid course for freelance journalists, who then in a war zone, if a bomb ignites, will be able to save their colleagues and other journalists,” Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication Greg Faller said.
The final two films in the month-long screening portray women and sexual assault. Because of the nature of the topic, the Women’s Studies Department will also be involved, Faller said.
“These films all deal with contemporary issues in war and veterans coming back to the United States,” Faller said. “But this is the first real series that highlights the Veteran’s Center in a positive light as well as the excellent work in filmmaking.”