Veterans Tell Elite Colleges: ‘We Belong’

January 7, 2013

As David Salsone planned to leave the Navy several years ago and enroll in college on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, his supervisor in Bahrain mocked him. "Where do you think you're going, Salsone?" he would say. "Harvard?" Mr. Salsone, a petty officer second class, kept quiet. "Maybe," he remembers thinking. "Or someplace just as good." After six years in the Navy, Mr. Salsone, who had enlisted straight out of high school, went back to his native Long Island. Nobody in his family had gone to college. The prospect of an elite education felt promising—he knew he wanted it—but also out of reach.