Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans group with Colbert in Newsweek

Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans group with Colbert in Newsweek

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Hey, Colbert's done some genuinely brilliant work in the new Newsweek, check it for yourself.

Also, please note his support for the Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America, which is the group helping recent veterans treated right. IAVA supporters and Colbert are depicted right inside the magazine.

Just found, a podcast from Newsweek discussing the issue, and it includes an interview with Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA director, and a much scarier human than me. Highly recommended.

disclaimer: I'm on the board of IAVA, figuring that the vets committed to me, so I should return the favor.

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2 Comments

DHB

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all the very best to Colbert. This is quite a nice and interesting posting.

james cahill

My Viet Nam, Your War on Terror, Our Veterans
I came home from Southeast Asia in 1972 after 4 years in the USAF and was honorably discharged at Travis AFB. I was 23 years old and eager to begin my life as a student using my GI Bill putting my military experiences behind me. I felt the shame that was part of the mood and politics of our country towards those who served in the military. My best course of action was to grow my hair long, be silent and hide my past from those who ridiculed veterans like me. It was the same for many of my fellow vets like Jim Hall. He served as a Marine Corpsman during the bloodiest time of the Viet Nam war on the battlefield using his medical skills to save lives. He and I became teachers with long careers in education. In 1970’s the issue of transferability of military experience into civilian life meant that we got little in the form of college credit except for Physical Education for our time in the service.
I went on to a long career as a teacher of the disabled and the issue of transferability of credit given to veterans did not become an important to me until my son Jay returned from his deployment to Iraq in 2008 . Prior to this he was top of his class as a Combat Medic and at Walter Reed’s Mike 6 Nursing program in DC that lasted 12 months. He too applied to my alma mater CSUS for admission to their BSRN program. He was asked to bring his pre Army college transcript for evaluation to the school of nursing for admissions evaluation by the nursing school. He was told not to bring any of his military education for evaluation because they will not award any college credit for his experience or 80 weeks of medical training he received while in the Army. He was told that he could not be admitted since classroom spaces were filled by others more qualified than him. “Go to the back of the line and wait”. He is still waiting after nearly 2 years for admission to their program.
I became an advocate for veterans like Jay who are told go to the “back of the line” by our public California colleges and universities. School policies and administrators are under pressure to make more money, admit students who pay a higher tuition rates. I have discovered to my chagrin, that as many as 20% or more of the students who occupy state funded nursing programs limited classroom spaces, are F1 Visa non-nationals who pay three times the tuition. In addition, as a condition of their visas, theses students are under the constraint of having to return to their country of origin after completing their education unless they become US citizens through marriage or employment. Clearly, our state public schools have their admissions policies priorities wrong with respect to the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan of today.
Back in 1972, my friend Jim Hall wanted to apply his medical skills and training to become a nurse, he found only one school in the Unites States recognized the value of his training and experiences. The school was Duke University. Duke began a new program called Physicians Assistant for those like Jim. Today, 40 years later, the schools of our state continue to refuse to reward and recognize the value that these new vets bring to their campuses. We waste our tax dollars and their GI Bill money by not utilizing this valuable resource by forcing them to “wait in line” behind those they served. Time for these changes is NOW before this newest group of veterans blends back into our society out of frustration and delay. They see the failure of our schools to understand their sacrifices’ by crediting their training, education and experiences. They are the ones who have a higher unemployment rate than the national average. Shouldn’t they be prioritized first not last for public education? Why are the lessons we learned from the Viet Nam veterans not being applied to this newest group of veterans?
Please share this letter with your elected representatives who may be of help with this issue. Better yet, any of the media who is willing to do a story about this situation.
Sincerely,
James J Cahill MA ed
2652 Prescott
Placerville Ca. 95667

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