A long road from the Marines to college

Amy Scott Sep 14, 2015
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A long road from the Marines to college

Amy Scott Sep 14, 2015
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Marketplace’s Amy Scott has been reporting on how an expensive private college in New York has been trying to make its campus more inclusive. Vassar College has been working with a group called the Posse Foundation to bring military veterans to campus in supportive groups known as posses.

It’s safe to say those veterans often don’t match the typical profile of a Vassar student. Keith Kohlmann is now a sophomore. He’s 32 years old, engaged with two kids and served in the Marine Corps for five years.

He also spent years battling drug addiction after an injury from a fight toward the end of his service left him hooked on painkillers.

Within a year of leaving the Marines, “I had lost everything,” he says. 

Now clean for almost five years and a sophomore at Vassar, Kohlmann is studying economics and hopes to work in banking. 

“You have to be willing to sacrifice a lot, and if you’re not, don’t even bother,” he says of the academic demands. “My family is willing to sacrifice, because it’s better for all of our futures.”

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