Year and major: Sophomore/Biology
Branch/Rank: U.S. Marine Corps/E-4
Service: 3½ years, previously stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Tell us about your service experience. I started off in my first duty station with a terrible leader who ruined many people’s lives. I ended up serving the rest of my time under my first sergeant and gained many billets (job titles), and six months after I was honorably discharged from the Marines, I received a letter of appreciation and a Navy Achievement Medal for my accomplishments during service. I cried when I received the medal in the mail because I thought no one cared about the things I did outside of my job title. I still have trouble adjusting from the things I experienced. I loved serving in the Marine Corps and miss it a lot.
What are some of your memorable experiences in college? I am excited about the “Show Your Colors 5K Run” to honor veterans. My husband and I have both signed up and cannot wait!
Any favorite classes? I have enjoyed all of my biology classes the most. I am also currently taking Piano 1 and I love it. I wish I could take more music classes without it being a major or minor because I love music, but I do not have the time to take classes for both music and biology.
Tell us about JU’s role in your transition to civilian life. I really like how the professors I have are very laid-back and the classes are small. I feel like it allows for a closeness that I missed from being in the Marines. I get to know everyone on a more personal level. I also like the free concerts because I was used to getting things like that in the Marines, and it makes me feel like I haven’t lost all the benefits. I also enjoy how quiet and natural JU is. I find it very relaxing. Low noise, low stress.
What sets JU apart? I like how eco-friendly JU is and the overall vibe the campus gives. JU is a place where you can enjoy the natural surroundings and the peace in nature. You also get a lot of fun experiences. I love the Study Abroad programs, Yellow Ribbon, free concerts, discounted races and all the other fun side events.
What might surprise others about you? I look younger than my age. I am 23 with a 2-year-old daughter (almost 3), and I’m married to my husband (29 years old) who was also a Marine and is also a JU student (Robert Bridger). We are very family-oriented and spend much time together as a family. We go on hikes, camping trips and picnics. We never go to clubs or bars or parties.
For more about JU’s programs and services for student-veterans, visit http://www.ju.edu/VA and http://www.ju.edu/registrar/Pages/VA-Information.aspx.