With our military out of Iraq, and funding for global military operations on the decline, thousands of newly discharged men and women are trying to figure out "What's next?" Most of our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, and Sailors joined the military before their 21st birthday, and it's often the only job they've ever held. While it's true they've received extensive training during their years of service, it's often fairly narrow in scope and not immediately translatable to civilian employment.
The answer for a record number of new veterans is higher education, for several reasons. Many joined the military with the ultimate goal of college, and the two G.I. Bills can help them afford an education that would otherwise be out of reach. Others are now more worldly and mature, and can see the value in a higher education that their younger, less experienced selves never saw. Still others use college as a kind of buffer between the highly structured military life they've led and our "every-man-for-himself " civilian world.