Student veterans willing to share about their service

by Erin Elizabeth Tague- University Student

Thank you for your Feb. 8 article “Student vets find campus family,” highlighting the student veteran culture here at the University of Minnesota.

While student veterans share many unique bonds, the group as a whole strives to convey a sense of hospitality in our Veteran Transition Center.

Despite my appreciation, I would be remiss if I didnâÄôt address a matter that continues to bother me.

You asked many of us veterans about questions we receive from nonveterans on campus and questions I was asked specifically as a female veteran. I am confident that I relayed that I found those specific questions as nothing more than silly, certainly not “offensive,” as you reported.

After consulting with others, we agree that the only questions anyone found inappropriate were those regarding combat kills.

I am concerned that, despite best intentions, the prospect of offending a veteran would deter nonveteran students and faculty from making further inquiries.

I am proud of my service, and I am open to any nonpolitical conversations regarding my service time and my patriotism. I am confident that the majority of my fellow student veterans would say the same. We veterans are capable of conveying what is off-limits in conversation, should boundaries be crossed.

This misrepresentation aside, I am sincerely grateful for the overall efforts of the article and hope that the student community as a whole received the message that all are welcome in our home away from home.