Colleges and Universities have made it a priority to support student veterans with an array of resources on campus. Today veterans can simply learn about upcoming events, speakers and other programs focused on veterans by being involved with a veteran organization on campus. Veterans are uniting by forming chapters (such as SVA) and other organizations to further support one another, though some schools are finding it difficult keeping veterans involved in what they feel is worth their time.
What are some reasons colleges are finding it difficult to retain veterans participating in veteran organizations on campus?
Veterans may transition from the military with much more on their plate, such as a family. Separating from the military as a single person should be much easier than separating with a family, and with a family comes responsibilities that will take priority over committing to campus activities or organizations. A veteran in this position will be focused on two objectives, graduating from school and making money to provide for their family.
Being a college student having homework, papers to write, exams to take will take up most of your time today. Veterans like myself needed as much time as possible after class to go over information from class, study and really grasp some of the material I was learning about. For some veterans, study time will be crucial for a veteran to be successful, but let us not forget veterans may also need to use their time for family and even work as not all veterans are just attending school.
As mentioned before, many veterans will be full time students and also full time employees. Attending school full time and working full time will take up most of your day, so unfortunately veterans may not have the time to commit to a veteran organization on campus. You may think veterans receive a fat check to help them begin their new life as a civilian or that the GI Bill benefits will cover more than just college tuition, but unfortunately that is not the case. Veterans leave the military with what they have saved in their bank accounts, and some veterans need to get back to work the moment they separate.
4) Separating from the military altogether
Some veterans leave the military behind them the moment they separate. Not all veterans have a great experience serving, so the thought of joining a veterans group on campus or even talking to others about being a veteran won’t come to mind. For some veterans, staying far away from anything that has to do with the military is their way of finding comfort and peace.
Veterans will separate from the military and have so much on their plate as they begin the process of transitioning in life once again. Veterans in school can and will be faced with many dilemmas that unfortunately will keep them from fully committing or volunteering with veteran organizations on campus. Although I will be the first veteran to tell my fellow veterans to find some time to really see what your college has to offer, because you may find support you didn’t know existed, and could truly benefit you and/or your family.