I met a lot of neat people last year, in my first year of college. Even going to a place lovingly referred to as Redneck Tech. Like Dave said, you can do worse than going somewhere to meet people and ending up with a degree.
OH! Almost forgot, as a vet you might be able to take the SAT on Ft. Jackson. They schedule them more often than the local high school. I took my tests while I was deployed in Utah, for free. You may have to be active duty for that, but there's no harm in checking. Good luck!