As we continue to tell the stories of student veterans, we’ve sought stories from those who have firsthand experience dealing with the transition from combat to the classroom.
Sgt. Danielle Adams served in the Army from 2003-09. When she was ready to move on to a new phase of her life, she joined the Army Reserve so she could complete her degree in political science at Western Kentucky University.
– Muna Hassan
“I had always planned on attending college. After seven years of active duty, I hit a time where I needed a change and a new challenge, so I decided to get out and get my degree. I was a transfer student, as I had started taking classes while in the military.”
While Adams said she would have finished her degree without the GI Bill, “it would have taken longer and it would have been much more difficult.”
And though the GI Bill has worked for her, Adams admits that payment delays can be challenging.
“I have experienced minimal delays with the GI Bill, but even a couple weeks is enough to disrupt and distract from the main focus of getting a degree. It is hard to concentrate when you are not sure if you are going to be able to pay rent.”
Whether navigating through the GI Bill or pinpointing other veterans’ benefits, Adams said she finds support and builds community by getting involved in a variety of student veteran groups at her university.
“I have always been an active member in all my organizations and communities. In high school I was on student council. In the military I coordinated Hails & Farewells. Now, as a student I continue to be involved by participating in my campus’ Student Veterans of America.
“Being a part of my community and involved in the student veteran community has given me more information and resources than I would have had doing it on my own.
“Every day I learn something new about the benefits and resources available to military veterans.”
Additionally, Adams encourages other student veterans to become part of a community to help with any military-related questions they may have.
“The best way to find out reliable and straightforward information is to reach out to veterans you trust and to your peers.
“We have been through it. We know the red tape and what needs to be done.”
>> What’s your experience being a student veteran? Share your story with us!