Universities Participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program

Yellowribbon1Over the course of my more than two years here at University College @ SHU, I have had very many exciting and awarding experiences. Perhaps one of the most unique and thrilling of these experiences, however, occurred just a few hours ago.

I was sitting in my office, responding to some emails, and playing catch-up during a rare moment of quiet. My phone then rang, and I answered it in the manner that I usually do. There was a long pause on the other end, followed by crackles and strange noises. When the person on the other end started to speak, I heard a bit of an echo, and quickly wondered if I was receiving a phonecall from overseas. This is rare, as the bulk of the calls I receive are from people in Fairfield County. As it turned out, this phone call was in fact from overseas...very far overseas. On the other end of the phone was a US Serviceman currently stationed in the Middle East.

I was caught off-guard for a moment. What does one say to a US Serviceman? I couldn't exactly ask specifics about his job and what he's doing, so (as people often do when they don't know what to say), I asked how the weather was.

"It's hot over here, " he replied. "Very hot."

What followed was a wonderful conversation in which the serviceman explained to me how he was eager to return home and to start pursuing a college degree. Our time on the phone was brief, and the connection wasn't great, but I told the serviceman that I was eager to meet with him upon his return to the United States, and I thanked him for his service to this country. It was a short but wonderful, conversation. I am in awe of men and women younger than I am (many of who are the same age as most Sacred Heart University students) who are willing to leave their families and friends, travel halfway across the world and serve their country in a time of need.

Thankfully, these brave men and women are rewarded upon their return by various Veterans Benefits. In 2009, Sacred Heart University became a participant in the Yellow Ribbon Program, which is one such benefit that offers wonderful educational opportunities to servicemen and veterans.


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