At the height of the Vietnam War, Army veteran Charles Province wrote,

“….It is the soldier, not the reporter

Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet

Who has given us freedom of speech.

…It is the soldier who salutes the flag,

Who serves beneath the flag,

And whose coffin is draped by the flag,

Who allows the protestor to burn the flag.”


Braving the Homefront is an ongoing project designed to highlight the everyday lives, issues, struggles, and successes that surround student veterans and military dependents at the University of Alabama. This site is a storytelling opportunity for military individuals on campus, which aids in community connection and civilian development. As a partner with UA’s Office of Veteran and Military Affairs, Braving the Homefront is dedicated to the people it represents as well as to current and prospective student veterans deciding if UA is right for them.


While the primary audience of the site is made up of the veterans and dependents themselves, the secondary audience is the community as a whole, including UA’s general student population. The importance of community involvement is to attempt to work against some of the negative media frames and social stigmas currently placed on returning veterans in public understanding.


My name is Debra Flax and I am a graduate student with the 2013 Community Journalism program. As the daughter of an Air Force chaplain, I come from a military focused world. I have known soldiers my entire life and this project is important to me for that reason. I am looking forward to sharing these stories together with the efforts Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama is taking for those coming back to the home front.