NORFOLK – Getting re-acclimated to life at home. That was the theme of a Veterans Day program held at Northeast Community College on Friday.
The keynote speaker was Fred McLaughlin, a U.S. Naval vet and current student taking classes at Northeast’s South Sioux City campus. McGlaughlin said coming back home was almost as difficult to get used to as serving abroad.
“My transition upon my return was not easy,” McGlaughlin said. “But with repetition, it gets easier. You figure it out, overcome and adapt quickly.”
One of the challenges, McLaughlin said, was finding work.
“I was passed over for jobs many times,” McGlaughlin said. “I was very well-qualified experience-wise, but had no diploma.”
McLaughlin enrolled at Northeast and will now be graduating in May with an associate’s degree.
Supporting veterans in the classroom is one of the goals of Northeast’s Student Veterans Organization. In addition to organizing Friday’s ceremony, the SVO set up a display at the Northeast Student Center displaying the military uniforms worn by current military students.