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    Posted November 16, 2011 by
    Bentonville, Arkansas

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    How to be a Successful Veteran


    Eric Heckathorn has a formula for success that military veterans can use in college and in life; he calls it the military skill set.


    Half of Heckathorn's 38 years has been spent in the military. After two tours looking for WMD's in Iraq, he joined the Army Reserves and began a new career as an education major at Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville, Arkansas; he has been a college student for three semesters.


    At this year's Veterans Day ceremony, Heckathorn shared his formula for success:


    Everything he has to do as a student has a parallel in the military life. The professor is the commanding officer, and the class syllabus is the FRAGO (fragmentary order). The college bookstore is the supply sergeant, and the Veterans Lounge is the FOB (forward operating base). Class assignments are "op orders" that tell him his start point, mission and goal.


    Heckathorn says it is vital to have a "rally point" which in his new life consists of tutoring centers and other veterans.


    At the end of the day, Heckathorn "falls back to the rear" (goes home) for a little R&R.


    By using the military skill set, Heckathorn says, veterans can succeed in civilian life.


    When not on mission in the classroom, Eric Heckathorn serves other veterans in the Northwest Arkansas Community College Veterans Resource Center.

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