Texas Army veteran Ryan Rafols worked as a missile defense engineer during his time in the U.S. Army, operating military defense systems, calculating targets and maintaining computer systems.
But when Rafols came back to Texas and applied to the engineering school at the University of Texas at Austin earlier this year, he was told none of his experience would count toward his degree. That made no sense to him.
“Most veterans come out and can’t get a job in the field they worked in,” he said. “They have to go back to school and learn what they already knew.”
That didn't make much sense to state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, either. So in 2011, she filed and passed legislation that created the College Credit for Heroes pilot program, which helps veterans get college credit for their military service. She had hoped to make the program permanent during this year's legislative session, but the measure never reached the full House for consideration.