San Diego State Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Aaron Bruce embarked on an overnight aircraft carrier from San Diego to get a firsthand account of the lives of the men and women who serve their country at sea.
The airplane decelerated from 128 mph to a dead stop in about three seconds and landed on the deck of the aircraft carrier. Compared to a traditional passenger plane, a military airplane requires travelers to sit facing backward because of the body shock and force felt during the land. Although they include fewer amenities than traditional airplanes, military planes are much safer.
According to the Naval Air Forces, promoting peace, safety, security and overseas interests around the world is the foundation for U.S. economic and security concerns.
The invitation for this experience is limited to active leaders in the community who would extend their knowledge and experience to others.
There are currently 978 veterans enrolled at SDSU. The average freshman dropout rate for veterans is 7.5 points less than the average of the overall student body. Additionally, the average cumulative GPA is .21 points higher than the overall student body.
Bruce said he is concerned about all SDSU students and that it is important to try to relate to the challenges veterans have experienced as they return.
“When they come to our campus, it is important that we respond to them as a diverse community,” Bruce said. “We want to make sure that we are acknowledging their identity and giving them the support and recognition that they deserve.”
Bruce said SDSU is one of the leading universities serving veterans in various ways. He said it is important to be sensitive and familiar with the diversity within the military, as well as the needs of the veterans.
Bruce said he realizes the immense amount of leadership and leadership training that comes with being part of the military. He said veterans’ separation in culture, language and perceptions of the world is what makes them excellent leaders.
Student Veteran Organization student veteran Joel World was a marine stationed in Iraq for more than a year in 2008. World said professors at SDSU are welcoming and sensitive to his needs. On many occasions, his instructors have made test and military-related accommodations. World is a huge fan of the university and appreciates the faculty and staff for supporting student veterans.
SDSU has a Veterans Center located at Student Services that provides guidance for students aspiring to be in the armed forces, the first to be created in the California State University system.
“There is a huge veteran and ROTC presence at state, which I love. I don’t feel alone or isolated because of that,” World said. “It makes it easier for me to feel like I have a place to continue having a positive impact for my community and country, even though I’m not serving on active duty anymore.”
Associated Students Diversity Commissioner Channelle McNutt said veterans make a significant sacrifice for everyone to have freedom in the U.S.
“Veterans are the foundation of freedom. It is imperative that we recognize the efforts they made in order for us to enjoy liberties we possess,” McNutt said. “Without their hard work and dedication, we would be nowhere.”