Military Distance Learning for Recovery

By Ruthie Longley

Military distance learning programs can be a lifesaver for veterans recovering from injuries and those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), allowing them to move forward with their educational goals while working toward a physical recovery. Because of high demand for specialized and portable degree programs, online universities have developed specific distance learning programs for the military student.

The unique role that online education plays in the recovery of wounded soldiers has been widely recognized, and certain organizations, such as The Wounded Warrior Scholarship Program, were created precisely to help more service members take advantage of the opportunities available with online colleges and universities.

These programs travel with the students wherever they go without a blip in the program or the necessity of transferring credits, making it convenient for veterans and service members alike.

Distance Learning and PTSD

Distance learning programs geared toward the military student play a vital role in helping service members who struggle with PTSD move forward with recovery. Because PTSD symptoms can create difficulties for veterans in crowded and charged environments, a traditional lecture-based classroom might not be comfortable (or even possible) right away.

In fact, veterans dealing with PTSD symptoms might actually find a classroom environment harmful to their recovery. Triggers such as loud noises, confrontational behavior and frustrating group problems are common in lecture-based classrooms, and students with a PTSD diagnoses may not feel ready to encounter these issues on a daily basis.

In addition, returning veterans often feel different or set apart from students who entered a traditional college environment directly from high school. Veterans have had tremendously different experiences and often feel more comfortable with other students who are entering college courses with life experience behind them.

Distance Learning and Recovery

PTSD is only one challenge facing many returning service members. Approximately 31,000 military members have been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, and many more veterans leave the military with service-related injuries resulting from years of giving their all. Jumping out of helicopters and rucking 60 -70 pounds of gear on missions and road marches can take a toll on a body!

Distance learning programs for military students take the physical challenges out of earning a college degree. There is no need to race across campus to get to class on time or worry about attending class when cold temperatures cause severe physical pain to healing joints and muscles. Online education works with the military lifestyle, allowing for unexpected doctor visits and necessary physical therapy.

Getting a college degree can be a vital part of a service member’s recovery. The feelings of accomplishment that accompany such an achievement can make all the difference in helping veterans and active duty service members adjust to their new lives.

* is not affiliated with the armed services or any government entity

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