The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

War veterans visit NW

By Dylan Venglar/ reporter

Veterans Freedom Retreat executive Robert McMahon shares stories with students at a Nov. 7 event on NW Campus. The retreat helps vets become free from past stress. Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian
Veterans Freedom Retreat executive Robert McMahon shares stories with students at a Nov. 7 event on NW Campus. The retreat helps vets become free from past stress.
Bogdan Sierra Miranda/The Collegian

Three veterans met with NW students Nov. 7 to help other veterans overcome obstacles.

The three talked about their lives in and out of the military and offered lessons about reintegrating back into civilian life.

“I was one of those kids that graduated high school, had ambitions to go to college, wanted to be an architect,” Andrew Duffield of TCC’s Council of Diversity and Inclusion said. “When I got out of the service, it was up and down with what I wanted to do.”

Robert McMahon serves as an executive with the Veterans Freedom Retreat, a weeklong event for vets and their partners to help free them from past stresses.

“I take the veterans, and I help them redefine their purpose,” he said. “Most of the veterans that are here, when they were in, they had a creed — a code. The military, they teach you how to overcome, how to be a warrior, but they don’t teach you how to re-adapt into society.”

McMahon described some recurring patterns he notices in the veterans his program aids, breaking veterans down into three types based around five quotients.

“It has to do with introversion and extroversion and the things that happen when we’re in combat or in a warzone or in that kind of habitat,” he said.

McMahon explained the practices Veterans Freedom Retreat uses to help veterans recover from stress and trauma. Duffield spoke mostly about his time after the military, working with the TCC system as part of its diversity and inclusion programs. Many things TCC veterans deal with are similar to what he felt when he was getting out of the service, Duffield said.

“I served in the U.S. Navy, and I don’t have those sexy war stories that a lot of our veterans have, but I did serve,” he said.

Veteran Andrew Guadagno had never been out of New York before joining the military. After basic training, he was sent to Korea and served in ammunitions.

“I was a pretty bad student,” he said. “I just got tired of not going anywhere in life.”

Guadagno talked about his stays in Korea along the Demilitarized Zone and later his stay at an Air Force base in Italy.

“It was pretty fun aside from the fact that I had just gotten into Italy and didn’t get to experience anything yet,” he said.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian