Episode 85: Featuring Greg Bond and Gary Rossio

Greg Bond - Director of Military Education for Penn State World Campus

Featured Guest Greg Bond.jpg

Greg Bond, Director of Military Education at Penn State World Campus sat down with Rise Up Radio hosts, James Carmody and Jared Kelley to discuss the importance of education and how Penn State World Campus is helping active duty military members and their families attain higher education. Bond, who served 28 years in the Marines, was deployed to 10 countries, including serving in 2004 for tsunami relief in Thailand and Indonesia and earned three Masters Degrees during his military service. It was, he explains, his life’s mission while getting his Masters to use his interpersonal skills and enthusiasm to help motivate and inspire others to appreciate the value of an education. Penn State World Campus is an online campus for Penn State University which makes higher education accessible to people throughout the world. Bond oversees the outreach efforts for the military community. He explains that the professors are trained how to deal with military students. “If a marine says I have duty tonight and I can’t make the online class. The professor is not going to say, ‘well you fail the class’. The professor is now going to say, ‘totally understand let’s do a work around, let’s see where we can do it’.” He goes on to explain that every step of the way military students are guided by a military representative and they have academic advisors to help guide them. The World Campus which was started in 1998 with four programs and 41 students today has over 125 programs, over 13,000 World Campus students and about 4000 military students which make up 25 to 30% of its student population. The online campus serves active duty military member, their families and veterans. Bond, says it was his father’s words that instilled in him the importance of getting a good education, telling his son at a young age, “Greg I don’t care what you do in life, but my only guidance to you would be get an education. I don’t care if you’re a ditch digger, be an educated ditch digger. It doesn’t matter what the job is, it’s about getting an education to better yourself.”

 

Gary Rossio - San Diego Veteran's Coalition

Feautred Guest Gary Rossio.jpg

Gary Rossio, an Air Force veteran, local Co-Founder of San Diego Veterans Coalition, Champion for Physical and Emotional Health Action Group and former CEO of the VA Medical Center sat down with Rise Up Radio hosts, Jared Kelley and James Carmody to talk about how SDVC is working to help veterans get the healthcare they deserve and need. San Diego County has 125,000 active duty military members and 225,000 veterans and Rossio discusses that the idea of the SDVC was to move the healthcare system out to where the patients live and not make them drive to La Jolla where the VA hospital is. The idea behind the SDVC is based on building and using the relationships with other veteran service organization to offer veterans complete services in healthcare, employment, housing and education. “About 1% of the population now is currently wearing a uniform and its all-volunteer. These young men and women are out there serving the country doing a great job and our job is to create that safety net to which veterans’ and families don’t fall through, we want to support them,” Rossio said. He also explains there are over 150 organizations involved in the coalition. Rossio, whose main focus is on providing healthcare to San Diego’s veterans goes on to talk about the goal of PEH (Physical and Emotional Health) is to help veterans become “their own best healthcare provider”. He talks about his experiences working for the VA, the increase in veteran patients which has gone from 25,000 unique patients in 1989 when he began working with the VA to 87,0000 veterans treated last year. Rossio points out that any veteran who is 25-30 today is probably going to live to be 80 plus and that’s another 50 years of service in which healthcare is going to be key. According to current statistics, 20 veterans a day are committing suicide which makes emotional health programs so important for veterans today. He gives the audience a list of signs to look for to help prevent suicide and discusses two great programs, Mental Health First Aide and QPR both of which help people learn how to intervene with those who may be suicidal. He also talks about the upcoming Women’s Veterans Summit coming up Oct. 13th at San Diego State.

 

TAKE ACTION

1. Penn State World Campus wants to ensure that our Military Community is aware of a Penn State degree and the importance of education. The benefits and resources the university has to offer veterans, active service members, and their spouses is endless. Pursuing a degree is not easy but Penn State World Campus gives their students cognitive knowledge, critical thinking skills, friendships and relationships that are indescribable. Head over to their website to learn all about what they have to offer or contact Greg directly at gbond@psu.edu

2. Gary and San Diego Veterans Coalition's desire is to engage the full community of San Diego in assistance to our warriors. They want to bring community awareness of the groups and resources that exist and call to action for addition community support. You can find more information on their website or email Gary directly at garyrossio@gmail.com