Alison Lighthall to speak about veterans in transition tomorrow

The Veteran's Resource Center partnered with Student Veterans of America have arranged for Alison Lighthall to speak at Central Michigan University Friday.

The groups decided to bring Lighthall to campus because of the way college campuses across the country are changing, Marq Hicks, president of CMU's chapter of Student Veterans of America, said via email.

Lighthall will be speaking about the transitions veterans make from the battlefield to the classroom.

"As the military continues to downsize and withdraw from its involvements in Iraq and Afghanistan, there will be a large number of veterans who choose to use their education benefits," the Flint senior said. "We are constantly seeking ways to make that transition easier for those veterans who chose CMU. By inviting Lighthall to speak, we are providing a valuable resource for all faculty, staff and first responders in the area."

This event will allow faculty and staff to have a better understanding of student veterans.

"(This event) will go on to solidify CMU as one of the nation's leading military friendly institutions," Hicks said.

From 2004-07, Lighthall served as a captain in the Army Nurse Corps. She is now president of HAND2HAND CONTACT, a veteran-owned and operated training and consulting company and provides training nationwide about the pyscho-social issues veterans often face.

Her areas of expertise include post-traumatic stress and growth, military suicide and combat stress, among others.

The fee to bring Lighthall to campus is $1,800.

"(With) the cost of travel, lunch (for all guests) and AV equipment, the cost will total about $4,000," Hicks said.

The event starts goes from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. in Grawn 100. Lighthall will speak at 12:30 p.m. The RSVP date, March 13, has passed.