Some people say, “thank you for your service,” to military veterans. Some people deride them. Others say nothing. One local philanthropist has taken another course of action: He’s helping them to get a private education.
California leads the nation in number of veterans, with between 25,000 and 30,000 returning home to the state each year. In total, 2 million veterans live in the state.
The GI bill pays for the entire cost of a public education for veterans who choose to enroll. But some feel that smaller schools can be more appropriate and welcoming for certain vets.
Bryan Bankston is one of those students able to attend Otis College of Art and Design, where he’s working toward his MFA in photography. Former Marine combat illustrator Nick Edinger is another. Both are grateful that they can earn their degrees without incurring mounds of debt.
I met with them and other student vets recently, and talked with philanthropist Bill Ahmanson about his motivation for the grant. Here’s the story: