Posted November 8, 2013

Temple Made Veterans Day special: Silas Adams

Video Production: Gina M. Benigno

Name: Silas Adams

Year: Sophomore

School: Fox School of Business

Major: Finance and Risk Management and Insurance

Home town: Bristol, Pa.

Why I chose Temple: "Philadelphia is the birthplace of the nation. It's also the birthplace of the Marine Corps, right on Front Street. That was one of the factors. I was an active duty Marine from 2004 to 2012 with four deployments: two to Iraq and two to Afghanistan. Philadelphia is a veteran-friendly area with a strong Marine presence. There are a lot of resources, a lot of outreach, as well as a lot of brotherhood and camaraderie. When you run into a Marine, it's like running into a brother — there's an immediate recognition and a sense of family. It happens in Philadelphia more often than you'd expect. Also, when I was doing my research on colleges, I checked out the veterans' portion of the Temple website. There seemed to be a social presence. There were veterans' events going on. For example, they had a corporate networking event for veterans and a happy hour where veterans could mingle with each other. Having strong programs devoted to the veteran demographic, that was a huge thing for me."

Transformative moment: "I'm the president of the Temple Veterans Association at Main Campus, an organization that assists in the reintegration of veterans into the community —socially, academically and professionally. It creates a platform so that veterans aren't on their own. We do PTSD counseling, corporate networking, social events, charity events, Veterans Day events for the Temple community, general meetings with information on benefits and such. We've accomplished a lot. We pushed for priority registration for veterans. And starting in January, Temple is going to have special red, white and blue cords for veterans at graduation so they can be acknowledged.

"Being with each other is important. It's like peer counseling. It's fairly difficult when you're going from Afghanistan or Iraq into a school setting. We have to transition mentally as well as physically. It's hard. A lot of times we don't know how to cope with it. That familial tie that's instilled in us when you're in the military is so strong and so profound. I want to take all the veterans at Temple, across the generations, and bring them together into one whole, cohesive unit. That's my goal. I want everyone to know that they're not alone.

"Veterans have qualities that are sought after by employers. Sometimes veterans don't realize that they are desirable, and sometimes employers don't know how to access veterans. I want to streamline the process of bringing employers and veterans together.

"There are a lot of veterans who've graduated from the Fox School of Business. I see where they've gone after they've left the service. It gives me hope that I don't have to stop here; I can go on to get a Ph.D., I can use my veterans benefits, I can use the abilities and assets that I learned in the military to my advantage. If they can do it and be successful, I can do it.

"Temple's founding father, Russell Conwell, was actually a veteran. It really hit home with me when I read his 'Acres of Diamonds' speech that I'm following in the footsteps of another veteran. It feels as though I'm where I'm supposed to be."