Even with financial support from the government many vets find themselves lost on campus.
In a recent Inside Higher Ed column, UCLA faculty member Mike Rose wrote about the dearth -- and the necessity -- of well-thought out programs to help veterans adjust to student life.
For years now we have been awash with "support our troops" rhetoric, and politicians use it as a patriotic trump card. One grand irony in all this is the shameful level of health care some veterans have been getting and the resistance a number of conservatives and the Pentagon itself displayed in the face of recent legislation for a new G.I. Bill.
Rather than patriotic talk, I'd like to hear about programs that are comprehensive and address the multiple needs our troops have when they return home. Programs that provide knowledge and build skill. Programs that are thick with human contact. Programs that meet veterans where they are and provide structure and guidance that assist them toward a clear goal. Programs that build a community while leading these young men and women back to their own communities.
Some schools, like Cleveland State, have commendable programs in place, Rose says. But few colleges offer overarching support.
Interested in how military veterans adjust to campus life at their own school, Ohio University graduate students Rebecca Fischer and Jason Whited created a 15-minute documentary on the topic, interviewing OU vets, professors and parents. They found that most vets are unaware of the resources available to them on campus, and most desire more support.