New York TimesBy James Dao. THE class was humanities, the book under discussion Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.” Suddenly an alarm blared and 20 students, some calm and some not, filed out of the makeshift classroom. Kandahar Airfield in southern Afghanistan was under rocket attack, again.
The students, most of them uniformed troops, repaired to a cramped bunker where a few continued discussing the book. There, they waited for an hour until the all-clear sounded. Class was over. “We’ve been through so many of those that you grow callous to it,” Chief Warrant Officer Justin Hutchinson recalled via Skype. “For most of us, it was like a cigarette break.”
The incident typifies the untypical world of higher education for active-duty troops and veterans. This year, more than one million service members, veterans and their families will take college courses financed with federal tax dollars. Their experiences will be more complicated than those of their fresh-faced civilian peers. Read more...