14.11.19

WHY IT MATTERS.

Sunday into Monday, we received three more inches of, er, climate chaos, most of which is still on the ground.  That prompted the university to implement Plan B, moving Monday's Veterans' Day observation from the flagpole where it usually occurs to the trustees' meeting room.  The schedule offered fewer speeches than is often the case, and the honor guard and rifle salute marked off, although a bugler played Taps.

The one speech was by senior Air Force veteran Brandon Smith, who set aside his prepared remarks to extemporize, thanking the Air Force and the university for helping "a kid from Chicago's south side" find structure in his life.  Apparently, although the various combat operations around the world aren't as much in the news, the blank check recruits write to Uncle Sam still include reservists subject to recall after their hitch is over.  Mr Smith noted that faculty were always supportive and helpful to him when his recalls, which always come at a bad time, like exam week, arrived.

That's long been a tradition at Northern Illinois, and it's the community colleges, regional comprehensives, and mid-majors that honor it.  Here's Inside Higher Ed's Wick Sloane.  "Bunker Hill Community College, where I first met veterans struggling toward a college education, has more than 300 veterans this fall."  That's from his annual survey of veteran enrollment in higher education.  The places you might have heard us, the places that fill the ranks of The Best and The Brightest, which is to say, the people who will send the next generation off to war, not so much.  "Yale, 15; Harvard, 17; Princeton, 18; Amherst, 13; Williams, fewer than 10."  That's from the development offices that responded to his survey.  It's easier to learn the name of a Washington whistleblower than to find out how many veterans matriculate at Cal Tech, apparently.

The veterans who enroll at the Ivies?  Perhaps it's OK to micro-aggress against them. ‘But don’t you ever feel like a sucker for serving?”  There's a longer excerpt at Insta Pundit; The Wall Street Journal left it outside the paywall on 11 November.

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