Book club focuses on veteran issues

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Student veterans book club meeting
Student veterans meet to discuss book. Photo credit/Ken Baierl

Staff Writer

Two notable philanthropists turned their focus to student veterans this year.
Jerry and Dorene Hammes committed to giving $13,000 over the course of five years to fund IU South Bend’s first ever Veteran’s Book Club.
Hosted by Chancellor Terry Allison, the new veteran book club conducted its initial meeting on Oct. 22. Staff, faculty, and students attended.
At the meeting, the group discussed readings from “Preparing Your Campus for Veteran’s Success: An Integrated Approach to Facilitating the Transition and Persistence of Our Military Students,” by Bruce Kelley, Justin Smith and Ernetta Fox.
The main topic of discussion was how IUSB can better help veterans adapt to the college life and all the processes it takes to become situated.
Jonathon Bush, chair of the Department of English at Western Michigan University facilitated discussion, according to Vicki Bloom, dean of library services. Bloom was instrumental in organizing and getting funding for the book club.
“We basically combined a meet and greet with a book club,” said Bloom. This served as a way for veterans to get acquainted with one another while simultaneously engaging in discussions that are relevant to their lives.
For the next meeting, the group will read “Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan and the Home Front in the Words of U.S. Troops and Their Families,” which includes eyewitness accounts, private journals, short stories and other writings.
The book club will continue to meet once or twice per semester and is open to student veterans, their friends and families, campus representatives and anyone in the community that is interested in veteran’s issues.
For more information about the Veteran’s Book Club, contact Vicki Bloom at

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