In this paper I will outline a selection of texts to demonstrate the diverse literacies brought to higher learning institutions by veterans and discuss many of the challenges veterans face when translating these literacies to an in-class instructional setting. I will also identify social disconnections when interpreting the veteran experience through a deficit-based model and offer a preliminary, veteran-centric mode of re-interpretation. By drawing on some key experiences as a Hospital Corpsman having served with the Marine Corps Infantry, I will also attempt to construct a preliminary model for studying the experience of Post 9/11 veterans from an experienced, asset-based point of view. Lastly, in order to broaden the discourse of veteran identity in literature and composition, I will include the brief analysis of three American poems and a brief personal essay exploring an alternate reading of The Great Gatsby, each written to exercise and explore principles of Veteran Identity. It is my hope that the ideas presented in this paper will serve as a jumping-off point for an alternate discussion surrounding a new generation of veterans and what they can bring to higher education institutions, literary theory and the composition classroom.



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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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