GRU to assist veterans transition into civilian careers - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

GRU to assist veterans transition into civilian careers

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It's not an easy task for military service members: re-entering civilian life after returning from the battle fields.

Craig Norris is a veteran enrolled in the Physician Assistant Program at Georgia Regents University. He says he has a bright future ahead, and is proud his department is helping more veterans like him.

"I think it's a great possibility for, especially those who are enlisted getting out of the military for those who have the medical skills they need to progress in their own life," Norris said.

Veterans returning from Iraq, Afghanistan or both have an unemployment rate of 10.9 percent. Recognizing this trend, GRU is developing the Green to Grad Program: transitioning veterans into civilian careers. The department also looks to increase the number of veterans in the classroom taking advantage of skills they've learned in the military.

"They have the clinical experience, said Bonnie Dadig, chair and program director of the Physician Assistant Program. "So they always end up being, on lab days and other things, helping other students; they also have leadership skills."

"It's kind of exciting to see the military personnel come back into the classroom and kind of enlarging our classroom pool of veterans from just maybe one or two per class to, I think the goal is up to at least 10 percent, so that could be sometimes as high as four or five," said Rebecca Rote, Associate Professor in the Physician Assistant Department, and a physician assistant herself.

Program developers say Green to Grad in the Physician Assistant Department is just a model for other departments transitioning veterans into more fields; helping our heroes sustain a comfortable life after their service.

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