Honoring Our Veterans

Dear Tulane Community:

Tomorrow, we will observe Veterans Day, which recognizes those who have served honorably in our nation’s armed forces. This includes generations of Tulane alumni and students.

Among the many categories in which Tulane receives top national ranking, we are proud to also be recognized as one of the best universities for veterans. Being the best for our veterans means we not only honor them on special holidays such as tomorrow, but that we commit, every day, to making a Tulane education more accessible and affordable for our veterans.

Chris Cox, a Marine veteran of 23 years, is a great example of the caliber of student veterans Tulane serves. After graduating with a double major in public relations and emergency management from the School of Professional Advancement (SoPA), Chris became commander of a local VFW post, where he continues to serve in numerous ways, including providing programming and outreach to help his fellow student veterans adjust to civilian, and university, life. Nearly 10 percent of SoPA’s enrollment is comprised of veterans like Chris or current members of the military. SoPA was also the site of yesterday’s official launch of the Tulane chapter of Student Veterans of America, a national organization that works to address the needs of American military veterans in higher education.

Veterans have pursued one of the most physically and mentally demanding professions, from which few walk away without consequence. Healthcare is a crucial part of their post-service life and the primary goal of the Tulane University Center for Brain Health which specializes in the treatment of traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans. In this podcast, Dr. Greg Stewart, medical director of the center, discusses the special medical needs of veterans and how Tulane is helping to meet them. Dr. Stewart also provides insight into the selfless character of veterans, noting that many eschew the care they need for fear of taking resources from others. “They feel like that someone else is more deserving, so they don’t take up a spot or take up resources,” Stewart explains. “The bottom line is that some of our heroes won’t access the health care they need, thinking that they are helping someone else.”

Veterans who gave their all during their years of service also return to civilian life with so much more to contribute. Tulane veterans such as NASA astronaut Doug Hurley reach the stars while others serve as first responders, healthcare professionals, teachers, scientists, pilots, emergency managers, homeland security experts and every other imaginable profession and vocation. They serve with courage and honor in far-flung posts and return home to aid their fellow citizens in the aftermath of hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes and other crises.

While we recognize those who have served in a special way on Veterans Day, we should keep all veterans in our thoughts every day as we honor the service and sacrifice they continue to make not for one’s self, but for one’s own.