Virginia Military Institute is now offering coloring books as part of its student “stress busters” program.
“Stress Busters is held on Reading Day of each semester,” the school said. “This is an opportunity for cadets to unwind and relax before studying for finals. This event often includes stress reduction activities such as yoga, therapy dogs, coloring book stations, card/game stations, and grab-and-go snacks to take with you on your way to study!”
Reaction from alumni was swift. “VMI once took America’s youth and prepared them for duty and the harsh realities of war,” a VMI alumnus and veteran told the Washington Free Beacon. “Now, for $20k a year, VMI will turn your teenagers back into children.”
Meanwhile Stonewall Jackson, Robert Rodes, and William Mahone all turn over in their graves, not to mention George Patton and George Marshall.
Trivia: One surprising VMI alum is … Mel Brooks. No word from him yet.
Speaking of old military institutions like VMI. When a unit participates in a battle or campaign it is given a Battle Streamer to be placed on its colors. Some of the old regular units like the First Cavalry literally have their colors covered by them. However, there are three college ROTC detachments that also rate a battle streamer, all from the Civil War. Two are fairly obvious—VMI for the battle of New Market, and The Citadel, whose cadets fired some of the first shots of the war at the siege of Fort Sumter.
What’s the third one?
UPDATE: The Confederate Museum in New Orleans was fire bombed early last month. Another one of those hate crimes you don’t hear much about—I hadn’t until I got my copy of Civil War News. I have a personal connection with this museum, which holds the battle flag of my ancestor’s regiment, the 12th Alabama.
In other news, an Army general channels the spirit of Joe Hooker, gets demoted.
And finally, if anyone out there is itching to write the Great Civil War Novel, help is at hand—the 2016 NaNoWriMo Writing Tools Bundle, and for only twenty bucks for a limited time. So stop making excuses and start writing!