SITREP Veteran Perspectives on Combat and Peace


SITREP: Veteran Perspectives on Combat and Peace began as a writing project aimed at creating a campus publication that would allow student veterans at Western Illinois University the opportunity to share their voice and stories with other veterans and non-veterans alike in three major literary genres: fiction, creative and/or academic non-fiction, and poetry. The first edition was published in the spring of 2015 under the name Veteran Voices: Personal Stories of Combat and Peace, and was very well received on and around campus.

With the intention of creating a better awareness and understanding of the student veteran experience, and building on the momentum generated from its first publication, SITREP—both as a project and publication—is growing in many ways. Not only is the magazine now taking a digital form, the publication is expanding by including art of all forms and genres, as well as academic work.

It is hoped that through the process of creating and sharing their work, veterans feel they can express their thoughts/perspectives on their service, as well as provide those who have not served a chance to see the landscape through the eyes and minds of those who have.

“It would be much too dangerous to talk about my fears.

I’m not scared of dying for my fear is for the living

With tires turning and joints burning, we speed to the medic”

– “The Picture” by Dan W. Holst


SITREP: Veteran Perspectives on Combat and Peace seeks to provide a forum for veterans to share their rich, meaningful, complex, and often difficult experiences via literary and visual art, both online and in a physical text.

SITREP: Veteran Perspectives on Combat and Peace aims to empower veterans, educate civilians, and provide a space for open dialogue and increased understanding that may otherwise go unexamined and unarticulated.

“‘I’ve been where you are,’ the old man said.

‘And where’s that?’

‘You might feel alone, but you’re not, son,’ the old man smiled as he spoke, and warmth emanated from his dark, kind eyes. They talked for a while, moving from topics like Vietnam and Iraq, to the Marine Corps and the VFW.”

– “Broken But Breathing” by Luke Cummings


SITREP: Veteran Perspectives on Combat and Peace is aimed at cultivating a better understanding of the student veteran experience, and building more meaningful relationships between our writers, artists, and audience. We are completely reliant on small grants and private donations. To date, our support has largely come through the relationships we have managed to build with our local community. However, our aim is for our WIU-focused magazine to reach readers, veterans and non-veterans alike, from beyond the confines of our region, a desire that requires we also expand our efforts toward fundraising.

By donating to SITREP you play a crucial role in the sustainment and progress of a project that has already served to nurture a better appreciation for the student veteran experience, and improve relationships across the WIU student, faculty, staff, and alumni bodies.

100% of your contribution to SITREP will be used in support of the SITREP student veteran writing project. Donations will go toward:

  1. Assisting student veteran contributors on their work
  2. The costs associated with developing and publishing print copies of the magazine
  3. Developing and maintaining an online presence and journal
  4. Creating community and networking with student veterans at Western Illinois University and beyond

Other Ways To Support

Not able to donate? You can still contribute to the success of SITREP in many ways:

  1. Spread the news; make family, friends, and colleagues aware of the magazine by sharing our link and story
  2. Contribute; if you are a student veteran at WIU we strongly encourage you to contribute your writing or art. If you are a student veteran at an institution other than WIU please reach out to us, we would love to find a way to discuss how our project might benefit you


“He rubbed a finger over the metal corpsman’s caduece pinned to his collar, and looked at the gauze still in its wrapper. The reality of his situation was as obvious as the suffering in the girl’s eyes. He had earned friendship, comradery, and acceptance. But his part in it seemed like an elaborate con now. He was in over his head and hated himself for it.”

- “Clear as Time” by Ryan Bronaugh

Student Veteran

Ten Things You Should Know About Today's Student Veteran*

  1. Student veterans are one of America’s greatest untapped human resources.
  2. To succeed, veterans need your understanding, compassion and respect.
  3. Combat trauma is an injury, not a mental illness.
  4. They often want to go back to the war zone.
  5. Female veterans suffer deeply, and almost always in silence.
  6. There are three things you should never say to a student veteran (but they still hear them every day).
  7. They are often unaware of their own mild traumatic brain injuries.
  8. They can feel very alone on campus.
  9. Veterans do not see themselves as victims. Ever.
  10. Student veterans are a highly diverse group—as diverse as America itself.

*National Education Association –