Paying tribute to veterans means supporting them as students

I was the daughter of a soldier; the wife of a soldier; the sister of a soldier.  I am a proud Army Brat who moved across the country with six kids in the back of a Plymouth station wagon every few years as my dad was deployed where he was needed. I remember those days so fondly.

But it was a sacrifice for my parents.  My big sister, Maria, was born while Pa was on the front lines in Korea.  My mother knows what it’s like to have to take on the world while you’re hoping that the love of your life makes it home in one piece.  She prayed and was thankful that her prayers were answered.

For me, it’s fitting that Veteran’s Day comes so close to Thanksgiving. It’s our opportunity to express gratitude to those who have served America unselfishly, sacrificing time with those they love and putting their very lives on the line. At a moment of division in our nation, veterans and active-duty service members embody values that still bring us together.

The holiday dates to 1918, when on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, an armistice was declared during World War I. November 11th, which had been known as Armistice Day, became a federal holiday in the U.S. in 1938.

This month has been declared National Veterans and Military Families Month, and I hope you’ll join me in thanking veterans and their family members for their selfless dedication.

By 2020, more than 5 million members of the military will return to civilian life. Many veterans are in colleges and universities across our nation, and many more are expected to enroll over the next several years. 

These student-veterans may have vulnerabilities that don’t show on the surface. Educators can help them manage the transition, providing the support they need to be successful. Find out how in “Ten Things You Should Know About Today’s Student Veteran,” published in Thought & Action, NEA’s peer-reviewed journal of higher education.

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