As the population of student Veterans continues to grow at hundreds of campuses across the country, so does the need to tell our side of the story. It’s an important thing to get right; student Vet graduates are a pool of job seekers, and employers need to see us as dedicated and capable applicants.

This is something you can help affect right now, in two ways. The first is to connect with American Public Media to share your challenges, experiences, and triumphs as a student with military experience. I hear plenty of folks that suggest journalists can’t or won’t get it right, so this is an opportunity to correct the record.

The second is to set yourself up for success on campus to make it through graduation in the first place. Georgetown’s SVA faculty advisor Barbara Mujica gave a good rundown on how you can step up to increase resources and visibility of Veterans on campus, with everything from starting a local SVA chapter to establishing lines of communication with administrative offices and faculty.

One thing I’d add: look into opportunities with the Pat Tillman Foundation’s Military Scholars program, an elite class of students who are already leading the way. Applications for this year’s class are open through February 15.

If you’re unhappy with how student Veterans are portrayed in the media, or how your school administration performs, now’s the time to be proactive.

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Published on Feb. 5, 2013

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9 Comments

  1. Lawrence Davidson February 7, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    There might be other ways. This project is what I did on campus. http://www.SoldierstoScholars.com

  2. JustMe February 6, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    So here is my story…I joined the USARMY at 17 1/2 and was discharged with a 30% service connected disability. I was never told about my benefits and 11 years later while on a flight was told by a passenger (disabled vet) that I had education, home loan and other benefits! I met with a counselor and took several tests (including an IQ test) and was told I needed to take them again because my score must be incorrect. So I took them again and scored higher! I was allowed to attended ASU College of Engineering. But when I reached my 4th year my benefits ran out. I had 12 years to use my educational benefits. I lost my VOC REHAB and had only 23 credits left to complete my degree in Biomedical Engineering with emphasis in cellular and tissue engineering. I have no degree and can not get the VA to help pay for the rest of my courses. What a waste of my time and tax payers money. I was told I had 12 years from discharge to use my educational benefits and time ran out. Seems to me if they had spent thousands of dollars for me to reach my senior year that they would have found a way for me to finish my last year. BTW at the time I was attending my degree program was 128 hours not including the courses I took for my emphasis.

    • Carlos Manuel February 8, 2013 at 8:52 am

      Do not feel bad, it took me 28 years to get my service connected benefits. I left the Air Force back in 1981 and they grand me 30% in 2008. After been applying, again and again, I wasn’t took that I can appeal any desitions. after the grand me four years to finish what ever I start long time a go. I just graduated from Broward college in south Florida with my AA in Art and becouse I still have time I am going to Nova to start my Bachelor. but I been talk that if my chapter 31 runs out before finish, I can ask for State Vocational Rehavilitation help all this information is been available at the Vocational help at the Department of Employment. Check it out, wish you luck, and god bless you.

  3. Devon Rice February 6, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    As a gulf war vet., I work at the Va. Hospital in Vegas and travel approx 80 miles a day in which I pass a CBOC clinic in route which is 6 to 10 miles from my home. Not sure about that going green concept. I am trying to apply for va benefits to attend DeVry in Henderson but it looks bleak. I have been denied of benefits of PTSD so I suck it up and “Explore my Options” as told me by my old supervisor in the Va. I like working and helping fellow vets however it is causing me a financial hardship in which I don’t have to explain to you all.
    Are there any Benifits for soldiers who do not have the G.I. Bill and who have been through PTSD counciling with va prescribed anxiety/ blood pressure medication?

  4. Marvin Johnson February 6, 2013 at 11:46 am

    I’am a Veteran that servied in the Korean Conflect, so that puts me at an age of 78 yrs. old. but i was sorry to find out that my age has placed me out of the range of returning to college I only wish that there were not an age limit. some of us older veterans would love to return to school.

  5. Donnie Hill February 6, 2013 at 11:37 am

    It be helpful if like the VA home loans, if VA education funding would be forever instead of the ten year limit! Veterans can go back to school later in life as well as when we are still young.

  6. Joyce February 6, 2013 at 4:41 am

    Last year I was a graduate student Veteran at a Bournemouth University in the UK. I was thrilled at the support the VA gave to the University that had never had a USA Veteran attend under the 9/11 GI Bill. Having served many tours overseas with the Army, adjusting to an overseas environement and cultural was easy. Some of my fellow students were from war torn countries were I had served as a Soldier. It was an opportunity to open up dialouge in an academic environement. I am looking forward to now pursuing my PhD, which would not have been possible without VA. Whatever the state of the media, veterans are going to college, pursuing higher education and bringing a wide skillset to the employeers. Hopefully other Universities will seek out Veteran students to attend and Veterans will take advantage of their educational benefits.

  7. Mark Tarte February 6, 2013 at 3:27 am

    I am a Vietnam-ERA veteran and a college instructor. I am also an advisor to the student-veterans organization on campus. Some of the media portrayals of this current crop of veterans is not just wrong, it’s slanderous. Yes, there are adjustment issues for everyone getting out of the service, whether a cook or a SEAL, going from a structured environment where everyone is working toward the same end to the civilian world with seemingly no rhyme or reason is always an adjustment. And yes, some do have PTSD, but that does not put them into the media’s stereotypical homicidal maniac category, it means that they have suffered a trauma and those veterans who have confided in me and other advisors that they are PTSD sufferers are receiving help. Our veterans, as a group, are the most dedicated, driven and successful group of students, hands down. They are mature, serious and bring a a unique perspective to the classroom. I am proud and humbled to be in their presence and though my job is to teach, I learn more from these young men and women than I could ever teach them. The media, especially the press, rarely get things right. Their portrayal of veterans seems to be too many times from watching Rambo movies. I have yet to see a reporter come by the student-veteran center just to talk to these guys and gals. When they do want a story for the student paper or for the local daily, it’s a quick phone call, a few questions, a picture or two and a week later, some story about veteran issues that gets it wrong. The press does try, but most have never been in the military and therefore cannot relate to what these veterans are telling them. It is up to veterans of every era to ensure that this current generation of our brothers and sisters are portrayed accurately and completely. There is a poster someone put up of a squad of grunts silhouetted against the sky. The caption reads “The Greatest Generation 2.0.” That is exactly right.

    • Kate Hoit February 6, 2013 at 11:24 am

      Mark,

      Thanks for the awesome comment! If you’d like, I think you could write a really great guest post on this topic for us. You’re a Vet and on the ground with today’s Vets in college–it’s a unique perspective! Here’s info on how to submit a post: http://vaww.blogstest.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

      Thanks for your service and the work you do for veterans!

      Kate

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