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When The Veterans Come Home

Of all the awfulness of war, the coming home part can be worse. \r\n\r\nOver the weekend, The New York Times featured an important story about the...


Of all the awfulness of war, the coming home part can be worse. Over the weekend, The New York Times featured an important story about the increasing number of veterans who are enrolled at American colleges and universities, courtesy of 2008's Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. It went into effect in August of last year.The story chronicled the daily struggle of Cameron Baker, 26, one of the 210 veterans that now attend Columbia University. He spent two tours with the Air Force and three years working for a private military contractor in Iraq.Now at Columbia, his post-traumatic stress disorder is triggered nearly every time he walks past a refrigerated soda case, not to mention when videos of roadside bombs are shown during class. Other challenges include relating to 18- and 19-year-olds and campus-wide antiwar politics.Baker is covered under the newly revamped federal G.I. Bill that pays for entire tuition at two and four-year colleges and universities, including money for housing and books. The prior version gave less in the way of tuition and no housing reimbursement. So far, $1 billion in benefits has been paid.And here is where things really get interesting-with 2,054 students, the University of Phoenix (Full disclosure: GOOD's Education partner) has the greatest number of students who have enrolled under the new bill. Other schools include the University of Maryland University College and American Intercontinental University. It's big business and certainly worthy of a proper follow-up.In the meantime, when we send our young men and women off to fight our wars and wage our battles, what is guaranteed upon their return? And is the G.I. Bill a step in the right direction?Photo via, which also includes an audio slide show.
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