‘Friendly’ to the military

Published 9:26 am Wednesday, October 19, 2011

With members of the United States military facing mortal danger every day in Iraq and Afghanistan and others protecting American interests here at home and in countless places around the globe, citizens owe them a debt of gratitude that goes far beyond “three hots and a cot.”

Though our nation has had a sometimes troubling record of honoring that debt, much of its modern history has been characterized by a true effort to assure that the men and women who serve in our armed forces are dealt with honestly and with dignity. The G.I. Bill and lifetime health care for service members are two obvious examples of that effort.

More than ever before in the history of the United States, however, providing educational opportunities for honorably discharged veterans stands out as one of the most important benefits they can receive upon their release from military service.

But some institutions of higher learning, it turns out, do a better job for the military than others. Paul D. Camp Community College was recently ranked among the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America’s military service members and veterans as students.

The ranking came from G.I. Jobs magazine, which surveyed student veterans to gain insight into the student veteran experience at particular institutions based on peer reviews from current students. Paul D. Camp currently has 101 military or veteran students enrolled.

It should come as no surprise that our local community college is a “military-friendly school.” The college is a beloved resource for many segments of society in Western Tidewater, and the surprise would be that members of the military segment found it to be otherwise.

Still, it’s good to have that group confirm so overwhelmingly what we already suspected: Western Tidewater is blessed to have an institution of higher learning that works so hard to be relevant to the people who live here, especially to those who deserve so much appreciation.