The Other 1 Percent: UT Opens Student Veteran Center

About 650 of UT’s 50,000 students are military veterans. While their peers arrive on campus fresh from the prom, they come from Iraq and Afghanistan, from months spent avoiding IEDs in the desert or working at sea. Student-veterans have unique experiences and unique needs, and at UT, they sometimes get lost in the crowd.

Now they have a home on campus. Today UT held a grand opening ceremony for its brand-new Student Veteran Center.

The center will provide mental health counseling with a veterans’ affairs psychologist. A full-time student veteran coordinator, Benjamin Armstrong, will be on hand to help students find financial, academic, and social resources necessary to excel at the University. Partnerships with various veterans’ agencies will facilitate job searches and other help. And the door will always be open.

UT is one of just five universities in the nation to open such a center.

LBJ School professor and director of the Center for Ethical Leadership Howard Prince spoke about why the center is necessary: “Since America was attacked over ten years ago, less than 1 percent of our citizens have bourne the burden and paid the price of serving in the armed services. They interrupted their lives and put themselves at grave risk so that the other 99 percent did not have to change their lives in any other way.

We dream big dreams, we go to college … We text and we Tweet. We fall in love, get married, start families. All without having our lives interrupted, without the fear of having to go off and fight in faraway places, and that’s all because of the 1 percent who choose to serve … And now we must support them in the next stage of their lives. We owe it to them,” Prince said.

Photo by Zhongyu Yuan for University Unions.


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