In Praise of Educating Veterans

November 11, 2019

In honor of veterans and to honor the brave men and women who have been willing to sacrifice their lives for our safety and prosperity, we thought it would be appropriate to look at some of education programs designed to help those who served. Since 2008, over a million vets have gone on to higher education or advanced vocational training after coming back from their service. It’s important for young people to know that learning is valuable and one of the motivations for joining the military is to be able to continue getting a great education.

What’s known as the post 9/11 G.I. Bill can give eligible veterans with at least 90 days of active service free college tuition, reimbursement for books and supplies, and a monthly housing stipend. For long-term service of over six years, those benefits can be transferred to spouses and children.

Troops to Teachers is an organization that helps train former military to become teachers, giving them the tools to get certified and placing them in schools that are a good fit. Since 1993, TtT has helped more than 21,000 service members transition to new careers as K-12 teachers.

The unique needs of Severely Injured Military Veterans have encouraged the creation of a special program as part of the American Council on Education (ACE) to train and retrain those affected by life-altering wounds. It includes resources for tutoring, career counseling, test preparation, and guidance on the college application process. It also advocates for environmental changes on campuses to allow access for everyone.

An organization that helps veterans get the resources they need, Veterans Education Success provides college counseling, political advocacy, and free legal assistance, especially in the area of college fraud. They also put out a variety of research reports on how veterans are affected by student loans, enrollment trends, the job market, Congressional bills, and other topics.

One of the groups that led the charge to reform the old G.I. Bill was Students Veterans of America (SVA). Their mission is to provide programs, resources, and support to local student veteran organizations in colleges and universities across the country. Currently there are 1,500 chapters representing over 700,000 student veterans.

These are only a few of the programs that are helping veterans improve and expand their lives once they come home. A great project for a history or civics class would be to contact any of these organizations and get involved with raising awareness or asking questions. As a society, we are enriched by the courage and values of our veterans.

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