These National Guard troops have laid two miles of protective boxes along Dauphin Island
By way of Craig Newmark (the Craigslist guy), I recently heard about and signed a petition asking Congress to include the time served by National Guard troops cleaning up after BP as counting toward their educational benefits. Apparently, unless Congress acts, their time breathing fumes and handling poisons may not count. You can sign too.
The original GI Bill after World War II changed who thought about pursuing higher education in this country by making it possible for millions of vets to attend colleges. It also changed the campuses by mixing in these older, possibly wiser, certainly more worldly, students with the usual young folks.
The current crop of vets taking advantage of educational benefits is a much smaller group, but still will likely have an influence on campuses. By and large, they come from a different class and bring different experiences than young students. They've seen a lot and need to process what, if anything, these wars meant. Their fellow students need a chance to meet folks for whom war is not a video game. And hopefully the campuses will help vet's re-entry into civilian society now that they are home from the wars. In every way, getting these folks into a place where they can reflect is a good thing they deserve and we all need.