November 28, 2021

Dr. Eric Fretz, a Faculty Lecturer at the University of Michigan, discusses the Journal of Veterans Studies with founders and JVS editorial team members:

  • Mariana Grohowski, PhD – Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Veterans Studies
  • Travis L. Martin, PhD – Author, Professor EKU, and Director, Kentucky Center for Veterans Studies
  • Bruce Pencek, PhD – Professor, Virginia Tech, and Co-Founder VT Veterans in Society (ViS) initiative
  • Eric Hodges, PhD – Professor, Longwood University, TedX “The Moral Injury of War”

Dr. Eric Fretz – Guest Host on Veterans Radio

Eric Fretz, PhD


Eric Fretz is a graduate of the University of Michigan and a faculty lecturer who creates and delivers classes across campus (Psychology, Innovate Blue Entrepreneurship, School of Education, College of Engineering Center for Entrepreneurship). In addition to classes from the 100 to 600 level, he also delivers academic readiness classes for Student Veterans at U-M and other institutions locally and nationwide.

Having spent nearly 20 years as an undergraduate and graduate student, almost all of it dealing with the learning sciences, and having run large schoolhouses and taught team skills for the Navy, his primary area of excellence is engaging students in dynamic learning situations where they apply what they are learning to real-world tasks. He has taught for University of Michigan since 2001 and is a certified Master Training Specialist and Golden Apple Nominee.

Retired from the U.S. Navy after 20 years, he draws extensively on his experiences in leadership and team dynamics to frame discussions of individual characteristics/differences and how to build and sustain teams that perform at a high level. Three deployments to the Persian Gulf combat zone (from Gulf War 1 in the early 90’s to Baghdad in 2008 assigned to the Army’s 18th Airborne Corps) provide a rich source of lessons and stories about teamwork, management, and leadership.

What is the Journal of Veterans Studies?

The Journal of Veterans Studies is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal. The goals of the journal are:

  • sustain international research in veterans studies
  • facilitate interdisciplinary research collaborations
  • narrow gaps between cultures, institutions, experiences, knowledge, and understanding.

We understand veterans studies as a multi-faceted, scholarly investigation of military veterans and their families. Topics within that investigation could include but are not limited to:

  • combat exposure
  • reintegration challenges
  • the complex systems and institutions (VA) that shape the veteran experience.

Veterans studies, by its very nature, may analyze experiences closely tied to military studies, but the emphasis of veterans studies is the “veteran experience,” i.e., what happens after the service member departs the armed forces.

The work of veterans studies can be found in such fields as higher education, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and student affairs (among many others). Additionally, it can be seen in and out of formal education: by current members of the military, leaders of nonprofits, artists, activists, and students taking courses in veterans studies. Such research and work can take multiple forms. The journal is open to multimodal submissions in a variety of formats. We support the practical application of new knowledge regarding veterans studies to veteran and non-veteran (active duty, business, nonprofit, artists, activists) audiences as well as research that moves the field of veterans studies forward. 

For more information:

Journal of Veterans Studies

Eric Hodges, PhD, is a former Marine, serving tours in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Beijing, China, and Oslo, Norway.  In the TedX Talk “The Moral Injury of War,”

Eric examines the boundaries that exist for soldiers re-entering the civilian world.

War and Homecoming Travis Martin

Travis L. MartinPhD, is director of the Kentucky Center for Veterans Studies at Eastern Kentucky University. He has established several nationally recognized programs to support returning veterans in higher education and the non-profit sector. A scholar of American literature, psychoanalytic trauma theory, and social theory, Dr. Martin presents frequently at conferences and universities. He has published dozens of research articles and creative short works on veterans’ issues.

A former sergeant in the U.S. Army, he served during two deployments in the Iraq War (2003-04 & 2005). His book War and Homecoming: Veteran Identity and the Post-9/11 Generation is slated for publication with the University Press of Kentucky in 2022.

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