Danielle Green, a woman Iraq War veteran, received an Espy Award (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award. She played for Notre Dame, then enlisted in the military, was wounded, and then got a Masters Degree.
The Army was always trying to get the soldiers to get better educated. They wanted the soldiers to go to college classes. Fort Lewis even offered an education program where if you re-enlisted, you could go to school full time for a year on the Army’s dime. But there was a time limit on it–the soldier had to do it the first year after the re-enlistment.
That resulted, curiously, in the only time I’ve ever seen a soldier claim the Army broke their contract–and won the battle. The soldier had re-enlisted for the college, and then his platoon sergeant kept putting him on missions so he couldn’t go to school during that first year. The soldier complained, and at the end of the year, asked to be discharged because the Army had broken the contract–and they did!
For me, I didn’t use any of the Army’s college offerings. I’d gone to college before I enlisted, but I had trouble making up my mind about what I wanted to do. I wanted to write full time, even then, but I was told by a lot of people that writers never make any money. So I wandered from major to major–accounting, broadcasting, journalism, theater–trying to figure out what I wanted.
All Fort Lewis offered was college for people who hadn’t taken it before. I could have done more wandering, so I didn’t take any more. The only thing I regret is signing up for the GI bill anyway. It’s hard because you have to make the decision right away, and it may be the wrong decision. Part of the GI Bill is paid from your paycheck, and part of it is by the Army–but it also expires. So I got it and never used it.
Even today, I wouldn’t go back to college. Not the right thing for me.