Santa Fe College student Adam Duggan served five years in the U.S. Army, receiving a Purple Heart after being injured by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.
He now holds a work-study position in the college’s Office of Veterans Affairs, helping students obtain the post-9/11 G.I. Bill and other benefits. He plans to transfer to the University of Florida next semester to seek a wildlife ecology and conservation degree.
“One of the reasons I entered the military is to pay for college, so I’m not going to squander that,” said the 24-year-old Lakeland native.
When he arrives at UF, he’ll find a growing student population of veterans but just a tiny office where they can speak with officials about benefits.
With the end of combat in Iraq and the draw-down of troops in Afghanistan, the number of college veterans has risen to a level not seen in decades.
SF College responded by hiring a veterans affairs director and plans to expand its veterans office in the coming months. Now UF veterans are calling for the university to follow the lead of SF College and state universities that have established or plan new veteran centers.
Read the full article in the Gainesville Sun by Staff Writer Nathan Crabbe