As a student, I had three wishes for universities that wanted to help military family members get an education:
- I wished people would stop asking me what my husband’s thoughts were on EVERYTHING military related on the news.
- I wished my professors would understand that although I am not the one in uniform, I may need an extension during a deployment cycle.
- I wished the staff in financial aid wouldn’t automatically assume that I am a veteran because I am using my husband’s Post 9/11 GI Bill .
Once I graduated and started actually working for a university, I stumbled upon what I now call ‘my silent mission.’ I want to create an awareness that service members do have families who are pursuing a higher education either on campuses or online. Not all “military” students are veterans. We spouses need different services. What would those services be?
Our university community is now working on a manual for faculty and professional staff. Since my husband is Active Guard Reserve, we have the luxury (and I used that term loosely) of staying at the same location for a really long time. Yet we do not have a military base within close proximity. So I thought I’d reach out to you here on SpouseBuzz for some help, as I do not think my personal experiences represent the entire spouse community by any stretch of the imagination. I would like to find out if there are some resources you have benefited from, or wish you had during your college experience as a spouse. These could be anything from understanding your Post 9/11 or MyCAA benefits, filling out the FAFSA, financial aid options, financial planning, support from faculty and professional staff, etc. I’m looking forward to relaying your wishes to our committee.
Patience Foster is the wife of an Army AGR, and works for a top tier private university, thanks to a referral from the Employment Readiness Manager at Fort Dix, NJ.