The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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Texas A&Ms attendance for the Alabama game was at 108,101 fans ranking it at the third largest game in Kyle Field history.(Ishika Samant/The Battalion)
‘The Mexican 12th Man’
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • May 30, 2024

Growing up in the hills of Monterrey, Mexico, Pedro and Carlos Luna were surrounded by soccer.  Clad in the gold and blue of Tigres UANL,...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

Former servicemen adapt to life after military, share wisdom

 
 

The Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas opened its doors in 1876 and restricted enrollment to men willing to be in the Corps of Cadets. More than 136 years later, though no longer an all-male military school, service to the U.S. still runs deep in the veins of Texas A&M University.
Ranked the 11th best university for veterans by Military Times Edge magazine in 2011, Texas A&Ms military roots and respect for service parallel its ambition to welcome and accommodate veterans in the best way possible.
Christopher Bradley spent nine years in Marine Corps active duty in Hawaii, Iraq, Virginia and College Station. Bradley is now a senior meteorology major at A&M.
I think A&M is probably one of the most veteran-friendly campuses in the country, Bradley said. The school itself in every category not just ROTC but registrars, admission folks, all the way through to the dean of my college are open minded and very accepting of us.
Sophomore international studies major Michael Cranford said he always wanted to be in the Marine Corps. He also always wanted to be an Aggie. After he returned from a four-month deployment in Afghanistan he got a chance to attend A&M and took it.
He said his service in the Marines helped him mature and see things differently than his younger peers.
My eyes are more open and if I had gone to school before the Marine Corps, I would have failed out in two years, Cranford said. What I see in a lot of young students is that they arent taking [school] seriously or fulfilling their entire potential. Theyre treating school like a game and asking, Whats the least I can do to get by in classes? rather than thinking, These next four years are my ticket to a better life and to better opportunities.
Cranford said he hopes that A&M students can see veterans as the normal people that they are.
I am a normal human being, I just decided to choose a different line of work than a lot of people, Cranford said. I think that is one of the things that most people dont understand. You are treated that you are someone else [as a veteran], like you have a certain air of mystery about you.
Roy May, sophomore industrial engineering major, served 12 years in the Army and dreamed of being in the Corps at A&M like his father. He is now a member of one of the two outfits specifically geared toward veterans: Delta Company.
Delta Company really provides such a great opportunity of transition for prior deployed guys into an ROTC environment without the initial freshman shock and awe, because we have kind of done that before, May said. We have all had drill sergeants before.
As he is now living the life of a college student, May has been able to apply lessons he learned in the Army to his time at A&M.
A&M is also sculpting me in some areas more than the Army would, May said. The thing that the military gave me is maturity and perspective, and that is helping me at A&M. Its not just a place to get an education and go to football games. Its also to learn, college is where you find yourself. I realize how thankful I am to walk around campus at A&M. I think a lot of people lose sight of that.
May said that he hopes Aggies can better understand the unique rapport between cadets and non-regs members on campus.
I wish there was more understanding among the student body, May said. There are 48,000 outstanding Aggies on campus and there are a few thousand other Aggies [in the Corps]. The only difference is that I dont have to pick out what Im going to wear in the morning.
To assist veterans at A&M, the University opened a Veteran Resource and Support Center directed by Col. Gerald Smith, Class of 1982, a recent retiree of the U.S. Marine Corps and former commanding officer of the Naval ROTC.
Smith said the VRSCs mission is to identify, develop and provide uniquely tailored campus-wide resources for Aggies who are veterans, active duty, reserve or National Guard service members, military dependents, survivors and military families.
Additionally, A&Ms Veterans Services currently offers veteran or military educational benefits to over 1,900 students, both veterans and dependents of veterans.
[VRSC] helps veterans find babysitters and housing, Bradley said. Its a great thing from my perspective because I know that adjusting to life is tough sometimes with the transition. Having those [programs] in place is a great thing.
Because of his great family, Bradley is able to juggle the multiple roles of sergeant, father, husband and college student.
Its almost overwhelming on a daily basis, Bradley said referring to the balancing act. Its huge that I have a great spouse who is fully supportive of everything; that helps with balancing the family and academic life. And thats really what makes it easy, even though its not an easy thing.

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