By Melanie J. Knox, Opinion Editor
When Derrick Hamilton was deployed several months ago to Fayetteville, N.C., he didn’t know when he would return to Abilene.
Now that he has returned, he doesn’t know how long he will stay, because his unit already is preparing to leave.
“I will get my fair notice before I leave to say goodbye to family and friends,” he said.
Hamilton, a junior human development and family studies major from Augusta, Ga., in the Army Reserves, is among thousands of students who are leaving college for the front in the middle of the semester.
Hamilton was only in classes for two days before he was called up, so he dropped his classes and received a full refund. He will not attend classes this semester at all.
Texas law requires that college students called to service be given the opportunity to either receive full refund for their courses, no matter the time in the semester, or be able to take an “incomplete” to finish the course later.
With ACU’s proximity to Dyess Air Force Base, the campus is no exception, although military officials do not release exact numbers of deployed students.
Bill Hughes, transfer coordinator and veterans association officer, said most students who leave ACU to serve in the military talk to their instructors individually and take an “IP” (in progress) to complete upon their return from the service.
“Almost every instructor has been willing to work with our students,” he said.
Some private schools give deployed students full credit for completing the course, but, according to The Dallas Morning News, this is not supported by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.