Students should find new ways to live up to the title of military friendly

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September 20, 2011

12:35 AM

The College of William and Mary is constantly ranked and graded, as recent reports have proven. Now the College can add another title to its long list of impressive achievements.

G.I. Jobs Magazine selected the College as a “Military Friendly School” last week. Of course, we students already knew that. Everyone has heard the fifes and drums ringing through the still air of Duke of Glouchester Street.

As much as we know about our history, however, we know relatively little about our present situation regarding military issues. Sure, ROTC has a visible presence on campus, but they are not as well known as other student groups. More importantly, we don’t know much about the state of veterans and service members seeking an education here on campus.

I was pleasantly surprised to learn of our new military friendly status. Of course, I’ve done nothing to help these men and women directly, but I appreciate the behind-the-scenes work of those who have.
Since the attacks of Sept. 11 and the ensuing conflict in the Middle East, our generation has been inundated with wartime media and increased coverage of the struggle some soldiers face when they return home.
How does one help? Often, there is no viable option. There’s no clear cut method, no obvious path that leads to the solution. It’s reassuring to know that those who have the ability to help are indeed helping. As is often the case, those who help the most receive the least thanks.

On a campus that prides itself on having over 400 clubs, I find it surprising that there are no clubs with the goal of offering aid to returning service men and women. Is it that we don’t know enough about the issue, or is it just a subject of little interest to students? I sincerely hope it’s the former. And if it is, I would love to see those who are in the know step up and inform the rest of us about how to help. Among the 6,000 of us, I am positive there are interested individuals and caring people who would want to help.

As with any title, the hardest part isn’t the acquiring the title. The hardest part is the defense of the title. We are a college of tradition and a college of excellence. When G.I. Jobs compiles the list of the most military friendly schools next year, the College should be high on the list.

The next time you hear the rustic fife and drum ensemble in Colonial Williamsburg, remember the soldiers of years past and thank the soldiers of the present. Let’s make this campus the campus of military friendliness. Perhaps the Griffin should wear a uniform for a day.

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