I just wanted to throw a bone to the nervous parents of those new rats, rooks etc that have opened their check books, signed the parent plus loans and are about to cry all the way home up I81 from Lex wondering if it is really all worth it. Is VMI what it sells itself to be? Not everyone that gets in is on an ROTC scholarship, and even if you are it is still quite the road to travel as a parent and cadet. Even though it is a military college the majority graduate and go on into the civilian sector either as their initial plan or as in my sons case as plan B. He started in NROTC/EE major but hated EE.. changed majors to chem...buku summer school but will graduate on timeWith the cut backs/higher standards required to comission he failed to have the GPA to receive advanced standing his 2nd year... His dad and biggest cheerleader, was very ill with renal failure..(diagnosed 2 months prior to matriculation) passed away 1 week into summer school last year which wasnt unexpected yet very difficult to get through. The cloud of that possibly happening had to add to the stress DS endured, yet he remained focused.. WE ALWAYS encouraged him to stay the course. DS has worked his tail off..has a respectable GPA now..made some connections and spent this summer doing forensic chemistry on the gulf coast at an coveted internship position.He walked into that lab feeling totally prepared to handle it due to the education he has received so far at VMI.. There were chemists from other colleges that were a year ahead of him that didnt know what he knew about the equipment etc. His education has been stellar compartively, not to mention the work ethic the boy has. He had alumni house and feed him from Florida to Pa. I only bought some gas to get him back and forth. They opened their doors to him in DC, Charlotte...anywhere he needed to be there was someone he could count on.. and one guy that put him up was actually a friend of a friend from El Cid... He offered a place to stay for DS after he graduates for 3 months until he gets his own place if offered a job there. His BR's got him through the worst.. Chap Parks, his profs have been invaluable... The professors really do go the extra mile.. VMI is a family no doubt and what they have when they graduate is highly sought after in the private sector. He was told to apply soon for a position by his supervisor from the summer.. He hasn't started his final year of college and he is being recruited for good paying positions in his field of choice. It will be worth it.. I told DS on matriculation day.. "Last chance to save me a ton of money".. once you sign the book I'm not coming to get you." He only asked once during hell week. (that brief call) proper answer for parents is "no son.. it's suppose to suck" otherwise everyone could do it... and you can! Good luck to you all!