Now, just as is true generally, government alone can’t do it. So all of us individually are going to have roles. If you’re a business owner, hiring a veteran, not discriminating against somebody who’s a veteran is going to be absolutely critical. In your communities, in your churches, in your neighborhoods, making sure that there’s outreach and celebration of veterans when they come home, that’s going to be critical.
I think we’ve done a much better job during these wars than we did during Vietnam, where in many cases our treatment of veterans was inexcusable. But we can always do more. Government is going to do its role, and then we’ve got to make sure that our communities do their role, as well.
DR. BERNSTEIN: Mr. President, the next video will be our last Internet question before we turn to the audience for Q&A for follow-up. Let me also note that this question from Alex in Ohio happens to be about the same topic that the Middle Class Task Force is focusing on this month. Let’s turn to this:
“Hi, Mr. President. My name is Alex. My name is Kristin (ph). And I’m Mallory (ph). We are all sophomores at Kent State University in Ohio. We really like the emphasis you’ve put on education so far in your administration, but we’re concerned about higher education. Our question is: What proposals do you have to make college more affordable and to make student loans easier to get? And when will your national service program be available so we can take advantage of the scholarship? Thank you, Mr. President!”
THE PRESIDENT: That was pretty well done. (Laughter and applause.) Well, I am very excited about the possibility that we may be able to get national service done in the next few weeks. National service was a priority for me during the campaign, partly because of my own biography. I found my calling when I became a community organizer working in low-income neighborhoods when I was 22, 23 years old. And it gave me a sense of direction, a sense of service, it helped me grow, it helped me give back. And I think there are young people all across America who are eager for that opportunity.
And so what we’ve said during the campaign was, let’s set up a situation where every young person who is so inspired can take advantage of service, and in exchange they will help be able to finance their educations.
And I’m confident that we’re about to get legislation passed. And once that legislation is passed, I think that before the end of the year potentially we can get something implemented on that front.