Let me start off by first saying that I LOVE Texas A&M and Aggie football.
Texas A&M has been a dream school of mine since I was young girl growing up here in College Station.
The university offers one of the best educations that one can receive, the research and research opportunities are remarkable (hello...we ARE the pioneers when it comes to cloning animals), and the rich traditions and history within this place is absolutely mind-blowing!
There is no other university I could EVER see myself attending, and people think I am joking when I say how utterly crushed I would be if my kids do not choose to come to school here too.
I love being an Aggie, and I am damn proud of it.
Texas A&M's veterans services program has been recognized nationally as one of the best.
Our veterans services is amazing, and I have nothing but amazing things to say about it.
I also believe that the university is making a HUGE investment into their future when they accept veterans to attend Texas A&M (which they accept a LOT of).
Aggie veterans are ground breakers, self-starters, self-motivators, focused, disciplined, wise beyond their years, and extremely intelligent.
They bring their wealth of knowledge and experience from service to our country that positively impacts the college experience for the traditional student.
Texas A&M has been recognized as one of the most pro military colleges in the United States, and as a student veteran, I can attest to that.
On November 12, Texas A&M is scheduled to host Ole Miss at Kyle Field for the military appreciation football game.
They're offering discounted tickets for veterans and active duty service members for that game.
From my past experience, the tickets they offer at discounted prices are still expensive, and the seats available to purchase are in Kyle Field's nosebleed section.
Student veterans were also asked to volunteer before kickoff to unfurl a giant American flag across the field.
Nick and I volunteered without hesitation.
I found out yesterday that they are short about 100 student veterans and active duty Aggies to unfurl the flag, and they have gone to desperate measures by opening it up to former Aggie veterans as well.
I found it odd that they were having such problems, so I posed the question, "do they get to stay for the game?"
My source from the student veteran organization told me "No. I was told it is too big of a game that is guaranteed to sell out for them to offer free tickets for the veterans and servicemembers who are volunteering to unfurl the flag."
That is right.
I'm just going to add that Nick and I do not need free tickets.
Unlike the average veteran attending school here on the GI Bill, Nick is getting paid active duty pay to attend school, and our family is financially secure.
We purchase tickets to the games we want to attend, and every once in a while a generous friend will donate their tickets to us.
For the average veteran that is attending school here, this is not the case.
A lot of veterans attending school here have families and children.
Yes, the GI Bill covers tuition, but as far as supporting a family, the small stipend the Post 9/11 GI Bill offers for housing is NOT enough to support a family and children.
Most veterans are working, not for extra spending money or just for rent and bills, but to support their families.
The last thing they have money to spend on is Aggie football tickets.
The average cost to attend a football game as a family of 4 (in crappy seats) is about $400.
Let's be real here, most veterans have a bad back, broke ass knees, and a myriad of other health issues to be standing tall with the 12th man in the student section for four quarters.
And NO veteran is going to force their children to stand with belligerent 18-22 year olds (who are wasted) for four quarters of a game either.
Our family buys the student sports passes, and we always upgrade our seats by paying the difference in price so that our old broke bodies can actually sit down and enjoy a game with our kids.
For many veterans, it is just way too expensive to do so.
So with that said, I want to know why it is ok to ask over 200 veterans and servicemembers to unfurl a flag for publicity at a "military appreciation" game, then kick them out of the stadium if they do not have tickets.
Does that even make sense to you?
It is ONE game.
The ONE game that is a military APPRECIATION game.
Is it really going to make a university go broke to give free tickets for veterans/servicemembers who are volunteering to be on the field to unfurl the flag?
I'm not even asking for us.
Our family will happily feed the money machine that is Aggie football because we do understand how much money Aggie football brings into our university, and we are in a unique situation as a military family to be able to afford those tickets.
Texas A&M receives HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of dollars from alumni every year.
Makes me wonder.