Step by Step – FVTC News highlights UW-Green Bay student and vet

Amanda Couch knows a thing or two about determination. The 35-year-old U.S. Navy veteran enrolled at Fox Valley Tech as a full-time student in 2014, and has since earned three associate degrees, all while raising her young daughter. Not only that, Amanda is now well on her way to earning a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a Human Resources Management emphasis at UW-Green Bay. It’s part of an agreement that allows FVTC grads to transfer to UWGB with junior standing. “All of my 64 Business Management credits transferred, as well as some Accounting credits,” she explains.Amanda’s FVTC degrees include Accounting, Business Management and Human Resources. Her goal upon graduating from UWGB is to work as an HR professional and ultimately lead her own team.

Source: Step by Step – FVTC News

Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: ‘Bent Compass’ play set Feb. 24 as online offering in Green Bay

“Bent Compass” background: Inspired by research for an acting part, Brookshire contacted longtime friend Sesek to discuss his military experiences along with the challenges and differences of before and after war. Further conversations led to the development of the one-person play. The play explores how a “new normal” takes hold of the lives of those in combat, and by extension, everyone around them.

Source: Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: ‘Bent Compass’ play set Feb. 24 as online offering in Green Bay |

Veteran Services brings vets discussion and play to Weidner Center

On Feb. 17, 2021, the Weidner Center will host a virtual conversation about returning to civilian life after deployment and how storytelling can facilitate understanding. The sessions, at 1 and 4 p.m. will be hosted by John Maino, a local broadcaster and author of Frontline: World War II – Personal Accounts of Wisconsin Veterans. Register to join the discussion, here.

On Feb. 24, 2021, the Weidner Center and UW-Green Bay Veterans Services present Bent Compass by Neil Brookshire & Colin Sesek—a solo play based on true stories of Colin Sesek’s experiences as an army medic in Iraq. The event will streaming at 7 p.m. Contains strong language, viewer discretion advised.

If you are a veteran or a member of UW-Green Bay campus community, register for viewing.


Honoring Veterans and Active Military at the NEW Zoo

In honor of Veterans Day, on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020 the NEW Zoo will be offering free zoo admission to all veterans and active-duty military members and their immediate families, along with a 20% discount on merchandise purchases in the Paws & Claws Gift Shop. The Zoo will also have free coffee and cookies available for our guests of honor. The Zoo will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Veteran’s Day. Regular NEW Zoo admission fees are: Adults: $10; Children (3-15) & Seniors (62+): $7; and Children Under 3: Free. Winter hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. seven days a week.

Operation Community Cares

UW-Green Bay alumni helping with basic goods through Operation Community Cares

As the effects of the Coronavirus begin to be felt in households across Brown County, Operation Community Cares is working to ensure that everyone has the necessary essential items to make it through these difficult times.

Operation Community Cares, in partnership with United Way, Brown County Board, ADRC, the Green Bay Packers, Paul’s Pantry, BCVSO and Veteran volunteers, are working together to provide a safe way for area residents who don’t have the funds and can’t leave their homes to receive essential supplies and connect them to available resources.

Currently, whether directly through Operation Community Cares or with partner organizations, there are nine UW-Green Bay alumni working in key leadership positions on this project. Those alumni are Sarah Inman ’92 (Political Science), Will Nething ’19 (Business Administration), Brandon Danforth ’19 (Business Admin), Ken Corry ’16 (Integrative Leadership Studies), Holly Ladwig ’15 (Social Work), Jill Sobieck ’92 (Human Development), Jenna Hunt ’15 (Integrative Leadership Studies) and Elaina Koltz ’06 (Human Development); as well as current UWGB student Nic Olp.

The Operation Community Cares mission is “to distribute basic needs items to vulnerable populations in our community during the COVID-19 pandemic in a safe, systematic manner. Our process will identify and continue to work with existing personnel and families in need and identify new personnel and families that have become victim to the circumstances upon us.”

Operation Community Cares plans to establish either a centralized hub for individuals to receive essential items or use a distribution delivery system already in place or a new method of delivery. A volunteer staff will help make this plan a reality for the greater good of the general public while keeping personal health and safety a priority. Thanks to the UW-Green Bay alumni making a tremendous difference in the community.



Veterans find a supportive community at UW-Green Bay – Think-Make-Happen In Wisconsin

Elaina Koltz may have transitioned from active duty in 2004, but she continues to serve in her position as financial aid advisor and veteran services coordinator at UW-Green Bay. After almost 20 years in the U.S. Army and the Wisconsin National Guard, the transition was difficult, she says, but through her work with student veterans, she realized “how blessed [she is] to still be able to assist our local heroes.” See more via Veterans find a supportive community at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay – Think-Make-Happen In Wisconsin.

Reminder: ‘Almost Sunrise’ documentary showing and discussion, Nov. 19, 20

Would you and your students like to learn more about veterans issues? If so, the documentary, “Almost Sunrise” will be shown in the Christie Theatre on Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019 from 9 to 11 a.m. and Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019 from 2 to 4 p.m. All faculty, staff and students are invited to view the documentary; students studying for careers to ultimately work with veteran populations can really gain valuable information from this film and the discussion.

The film discussion will take place on Friday, Nov. 22 from noon to 1 p.m in the Christie Theatre. One of the Department of Education’s 8 Keys to Veteran’s Success is providing comprehensive professional development for faculty and staff on issues and challenges unique to veterans.

“Almost Sunrise” is a story of resilience and recovery. A feature-length documentary, the film follows two Wisconsin Iraq veterans, Tom Voss and Anthony Anderson, as they struggle with depression upon returning home from military service. Fearful of succumbing to the epidemic of veteran suicide, they both seek a lifeline and embark on a 2,700-mile walk across America as a way to confront their inner pain. The film captures an intimate portrait of two friends suffering from the unseen wounds of war as they discover an unlikely treatment: the restorative power of silence and meditation. A cinematic experience that juxtaposes the internal struggles of its characters against the wide-open spaces of America’s heartland, “Almost Sunrise” is also the first film to explore “moral injury:” the profound shame that many veterans feel when their experiences of war violate their moral beliefs, and a possible critical factor in veteran suicide.

Questions can be directed to to Elaina Koltz at

Saluting the flag at the UW-Green Bay Veterans Day Reception

Photo gallery: Saluting UW-Green Bay veterans, families and active military

Typically a combination of both somber and celebratory, the annual UW-Green Bay Chancellor’s Veteran Reception, held Monday, November 11, 2019, was no exception. The Phoenix Room was packed, as members of the campus and community gathered to honor vets and active military members.

As Chancellor Van Gruensven welcomed guests, she shared her personal story and pride in those who sacrifice and serve. Van Gruensven’s father, Robert Starck, Sr. is an 87-year old Marine and Korean War veteran, who still wears his scars, and, she shared, “has a purple heart in his memory chest.” Van Gruensven shared the pain of the tremendous loss suffered by her family, when a nephew, a former member of the 82nd Airborne Unit in the Army, passed from complications brought on by PTSD following multiple tours in the Middle East.

Jones, a UW-Green Bay Police officer, is a member of the 148th Fighter Wing, Minnesota, Air National Guard, and returned recently from active duty. But while he and his fellow soldiers have returned without casualty, he has witnessed plenty of it… especially in the States. Jones was an innocent bystander and concert goer at what has been labeled the “Las Vegas Massacre,” where 58 people were killed and more than 500 injured in October of 2017 at a country music concert in Las Vegas. Jones, a decorated officer, was able to use his instincts as a police officer and trained military to usher his friends and other concert goer to safety during the horrific few moments when a gunman sprayed the crowd with bullets from a nearby hotel room and then committed suicide.

Jones spoke to the packed room about life lessons in resiliency.

UW-Green Bay Music, once again honored the vets with an “Armed Forces Salute.”

Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.

Chancellors Veterans Reception-1

– Photos by Dan Moore, Marketing and University Communication

Color Guard at Chancellor's Veteran reception

Reminder: UW-Green Bay Veterans Week begins Nov. 9

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Veterans Week kicks off Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019 with “Hometown Hero Day.” At each event, the University will be collecting care package items, such as toiletries, candy, and gum, for activated UW-Green Bay students and their units who are in Kuwait and Afghanistan.

Here is a full list of events for the week:

Saturday, Nov. 9: Hometown Hero Day: Green Bay Athletics double-header at the Kress Center with the women’s basketball team taking on South Dakota at 1 p.m. and the men’s basketball team taking on UW-Stout at 6 p.m. Veterans are able to attend these games for free!

Monday, Nov. 11: Chancellor’s Veteran Reception: At 4 p.m. in the Phoenix Rooms in the University Union, the Chancellor will be speaking to show appreciation for faculty, staff, students, and community veterans, as well as guest speaker Officer Kelly Jones, who recently returned from activation. There will also be music and refreshments available!

Wednesday, Nov. 13: Veteran Employment Workshop: From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Alumni Room in the University Union, there will be a Veteran Employment Workshop with the Veteran Employment Department and various employment recruiters.

Thursday, Nov. 14: Tribute to Veterans: From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the University Union Circle Drive, there will be military equipment and vehicle demonstrations.

Friday, Nov. 15: Veteran Brunch: From 9 to 11 a.m. in the Veteran Lounge in MAC Hall room 227, there will be brunch for veterans who work and use the Veteran Lounge.

Additionally, the following week there will be two showings of “Almost Sunrise Documentary.” Showings will be Tuesday, Nov. 19 from 9 to 11 a.m. and Wednesday, November 20 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Christie Theater in the University Union. The film is about two Iraq Veterans’ journey as they return home to Wisconsin. There will also a discussion and Veteran panel on Friday, Nov. 22 from Noon to 1 p.m.

For all the veterans services the University offers, see UW-Green Bay Veterans Services.