I was not surprised to see the headline “Princeton trails Ivy peers in enrollment of veterans” (Campus Notebook, Dec. 12). What was surprising was the text that followed. Amid speculation about why veterans are shunning Old Nassau, the elephant in the room was ignored. Why would a veteran wish to matriculate at a university that for years has demonstrated an antimilitary bias?
I enrolled in ROTC at Princeton and thereafter spent 16 months with the Seventh Division in Korea. Just as many young men and women do today, I believed it important to serve my country. Then, it was to prevent Communist China from using its puppet, North Korea, to conquer a democratic ally. Now it is to stop the spread of Islamic Jihadism among the countries of the Middle East and North Africa. The mission, however, has been continuous: to protect our nation from its enemies.
How has Princeton responded to this sacrifice willingly made by so many youthful patriots? The scandal of it and other liberal institutions kicking ROTC units off campus is well known. Though Princeton since has allowed the return of Army ROTC, there is no academic credit for ROTC coursework, and training is held off campus. Navy ROTC has not returned.
I found noteworthy that the article did not include the actual number of veterans admitted this past year. I suspect it was quite small. Whatever the number, “they chose to go elsewhere.” I submit veterans will continue to go elsewhere until Nassau Hall demonstrates an appreciation that “in the nation’s service” includes service in the military.