The Atlantic

America's Elite Colleges Need More Veterans

The military can be an important engine for social mobility, but it doesn’t always work that way.
Source: Jacob Myrick

This is the second installment in our series of essays written by veterans. We asked service members to share how their time in uniform shaped their perspectives on American life.

I remember exactly where I was when I learned I’d be able to join the Marine Corps. It was a little after 7 a.m. on a Saturday in the winter of 2007. I was 17 years old, picking cabbage at one of the many seasonal Southern California farm jobs I used to work in order to help my family pay the bills. When my phone rang, I picked it up and put down the knife I was carrying.

It was my recruiter. “Great news,” I remember her saying. “We secured you a spot in training…” She trailed off.

“Wow, that’s great,” I said, and sensed she had more to

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