“I thought, I’m so motivated, so intelligent — I am taking on the school,” says (Kevin) Blanchard, who now leads efforts at George Washington and nationally to bridge the gulf between combat and campus. “It didn’t happen that way at all. I was so lost.”
There are going to be a massive number of returning soldiers entering the nation's universities in the near future. Jim Webb has written a bill that greatly improves on the G.I. bill, extending benefits and making it easier than ever for veterans to go back to school; and many of them are planning on taking him up on the offer. Some are facing very tough transitions, like Mr. Blanchard, who suffered a crippling bomb blast that took a leg and left him with mild brain trauma. It won't be easy for them, or for their chosen universities.
All I can say is "Welcome aboard!" I've probably mentioned here before that I love teaching courses with enlisted men and women and veterans in them, and for a very simple reason: they don't like to fuck around. They're willing to give it their all, which is great to watch. So, if some of them have difficulties making the adjustment to academic life, I think we can make it work.