The Value of Veterans
Approximately 20,000 A&M students and former students fought in World War II, 14,000 of them serving as officers. According to the Corps of Cadets guidebook, more Aggies served as officers in the second world war than any other school, “including the combined totals of the United States Military Academy and United States Naval Academy.”
According to The Bryan Daily Eagle, A&M saw its enrollment peak at more than 8,000 in the fall of 1946, as veterans looked to return to civilian life and earn an education. The 1944 Servicemen's Readjustment Act, more commonly known as the G.I. Bill of Rights, included educational benefits for veterans to help pay college tuition.
The return of veterans from war, not only as students but also as faculty and staff, has been an important part of the academic and institutional growth of Texas A&M, according to noted Aggie historian John Adams.
John A. Adams, Jr. ’73 received a Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in History from Texas A&M. Adams was a Captain in the United States Air Force and served as President and CEO of Enterprise Florida Inc., a public/private-sector statewide economic development organization. Adams has served as an advisor to the World Trade Organization and has provided Congressional testimony on U.S.-Mexico border infrastructure issues. He is the author of several books on Texas A&M and the Corps of Cadets, We Are the Aggies, Softly Call the Muster, Keepers of the Spirit and co-author of Texas Aggies Go To War.