Rod Davis, Director, Veterans Support Office, The Texas A&M University System
The treatment of our veterans in war shows a cycle that is all-too-predictable. As soon as the fighting is over and the military servicemembers change into veterans, the wellspring of public support wanes and all but disappears. The new GI Bill for OIF/OEF-era veterans began as a welcome and long-overdue fair shake for servicemembers, and certainly it offers benefits, especially in higher education, far superior to any previously provided. And yet, moving into the seventh year following the post 9-11 benefits, it is possible to notice a steadily growing pushback against veterans on and off campus. This session is designed as an idea-generating interactive forum. The moderator will outline the session topic, and ask the audience to provide examples of pushback or diminution of support for veterans. This will coincide with requests for strategic and practical solutions. The goal is to move the reality of waning interest in veterans to the front of our consciousness in order to protect and advance support for the entire student veteran community now and in the years to come. History may not be on our side, but active intervention can change outcomes.