One of the great things about being a veteran is the education benefits especially for Texas veterans. More and more are taking advantage by going to college. But like almost everything else for a vet, it's a transition into the academic world.
Texas State is on the cutting edge of easing that lifestyle change for student vets.
FOX 7 spoke with four Texas State student veterans about the adjustments they have to make and what school is like for them after military service.
The most common complaint is the non-vet students.
"We would like them to pay attention in class because we're here to learn and move on. We're not here to hang out. We're here for an education and to move on to the next step in our life," said
Intellectually they understand the difference, but emotionally it's hard, some vets have faced the traumas of war. Regular college students haven't. So together in the same classroom it can be an odd mix.
"There's a maturity level difference. Even if you take an 18-year-old from high school and a 19-year-old from the military, the 19-year-old is more mature from his experience then the 18-year-old can't share in," said
That's just one of the things the veterans initiative program here is trying to address. Dr. Katherine Selber has operated it since it started in 2008.
"We try to understand their family issues, financial issues. We look at the whole thing holistically and try to co-ordinate services across campus so they aren't sent across campus. It helps with bureaucracy," said Dr. Selber.
With Texas State right between the San Antonio military installations and Ft. Hood, the university has seen the student-vet population triple in the last four years.
"They show you all the resources on campus like tutoring and experiences that with people of like mind not only builds connections bit it puts some of that anger to rest," said
So far the retention rate for student-veterans is 62 percent. The goal of the initiative of course is to raise that. For many of the vets a big part of that is sticking together.
"Being here with other vets, the vets initiative it allowed me to open up and you hear other vets and it eases those feelings of anger of whatever your experiencing," said
Dr. Selber says that their veteran's initiative model is going to be implemented at Texas A&M in College Station and San Antonio.