Virginia Tech’s Veteran and Military Student Support Initiative will host a conference, “Veterans in Society: Changing the Discourse,” focused on veteran-related research on April 14-15, 2013.

The community, particularly individuals and organizations involved with or connected to veterans, are encouraged to register for the event. The goal of the conference is to call attention to the emerging research and growing need for interdisciplinary efforts relating to all aspects of veterans’ experience – from access to higher education, healthcare, and employment; the efficacy of psychological and medical services; veterans’ identity, diversity, and inclusion; and veterans’ engagement with civil society.

The conference was originally scheduled to take place Nov. 10-11, 2012, but organizers rescheduled it for the spring.

“With the recent influx of veterans, as many return from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there has been a renewed focus on veterans’ issues,” said Karen Eley Sanders, associate vice president for student success. “This conference aims to take a new approach, looking at each from a research-based perspective to begin a constructive dialogue and find solutions.”

Michael Haynie, executive director and founder of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, will give the welcome and keynote address. The institute is one of the first of its kind in the nation, with a mission of using higher education in service to America’s veterans and their families.

Virginia Sen. John Edwards, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the early 1970s and attained the rank of captain, will be the featured guest and speaker during lunch on Monday.

“This innovative conference centered on veterans studies is one of the many ways Virginia Tech is striving to uphold its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), to those who have already defended that for their country,” said Daniel Wubah, vice president for undergraduate education and deputy provost.

For more information on the research that will be presented, a full conference schedule, and a link to register, visit the Veterans at Virginia Tech website. A small registration fee is required, although some may qualify for free or discounted registration.