TMCC Veteran of the Month - Oct. 2009
Advisor, Disability Resource Center
I grew up In Illinois and attended a community college there. After earning my associate of arts degree I went on to a university where I attended for two years. Lacking in direction and goals and failing many classes, I was placed on academic suspension and forced to leave the university. I had just 10 credits left to earn the bachelor's degree! I had no idea what to do and I was ashamed of myself for my failure. My father had been in the Army Reserves, and so I joined the U.S. Army (active duty) thinking that the discipline would do me good, and that the GI Bill money would help me eventually to complete that bachelor's degree.
I was sent to Germany as a private first class and was given a high responsibility inventory job after a lt. colonel saw the number of college credits I had racked up. The job was providing supplies and keeping inventory for five different military "education centers" scattered across north-central West Germany. This was during the Cold War, and I frequently had to travel along the border between West Germany and East Germany to deliver supplies. Soviet tanks and personnel were just across the border, but fortunately the conditions never deteriorated into anything like the Middle East today. The education centers were there to deliver classes to soldiers from institutions like University of Maryland, Central Texas College and Boston University. I took advantage of those classes and eventually earned my bachelor's degree in English from University of Maryland.
While working with the counselors and other education personnel at those bases, I realized that I wanted a master's degree so that I too could work in higher education. After my three-year active duty commitment was over, I used the GI Bill to pay for my master's in rehabilitation counseling and I've worked in higher education ever since. The opportunities and experience I gained while serving our nation were phenomenal. I have always been proud of my association with the US Army.
I am a contributor and member of the United Service Organizations. "For over 67 years, the USO has served as the primary bridge between the American people and America's Armed Forces, delivering a unique combination of morale building, counseling, and recreational services to our troops and their families all over the world."
They always say that the first year is the roughest in any new environment. Keep telling yourself that it will get better, and don't give up. Use the resources available. Reno has highly rated veterans resources and Veterans Upward Bound is nationally acclaimed.
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