Hard lessons: combat deployment and veteran interest in higher education
Armey, Laura E.
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Over 2.5 million Americans served in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In this short article, we consider the impact of these experiences on their future welfare. Specifically, we ask if those who served in Afghanistan and Iraq are more or less likely to exploit their GI Bill benefits in order to pursue higher education than service members who did not directly participate in these conflicts. We exploit a comprehensive administrative dataset that the US Armed Forces’ Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) provided to us. We find across models that deployment to Afghanistan or Iraq significantly increases the likelihood that veterans will take advantage of their educational benefits, but that exposure to violent combat significantly decreases it.
The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13504851.2015.1105918
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