VanCoug veteran stories
- Graduation ‘an emotional day’—Veterans are among our graduates.
- What I am—A student veteran's story.
- Student veteran bios
Campus photos—check out the veteran photo gallery.
Get dialed in with veterans active on campus. The Veterans Club holds events throughout the year, including recreation activities and opportunities to network, volunteer and build comradery.
Like the WSU Vancouver Veterans on Facebook to stay up-to-date.
Veteran supportive campus
WSU Vancouver is a veteran supportive campus, as designated by the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs. The following resources are available for military-connected students:
- Veterans Coordinator—The primary contact at the university for everything related to Veterans’ Affairs.
- Veterans Club—A student club that holds events throughout the year, including recreation activities and opportunities to network, volunteer and build comradery among other students.
- Peer Mentors—Current student veterans mentor new students to help with their transition to the university.
- Veterans Center—A place for veterans to hang out, enjoy free coffee, use the computers and more.
- Priority enrollment—Veterans and spouses register for classes before other students.
- ROAR Orientation for veterans—An opportunity to learn about VA educational benefits, resources, and meet other military-connected students on campus.
- Tuition waivers—Washington residents with an honorable discharge may qualify for partial tuition waivers.
- Access Center—Services and accommodations for qualified students with disabilities, psychological or medical conditions, or temporary injuries that limit access to school.
- Counseling Services—Individual, group, and crisis counseling, and psychological testing.
- Health Services—Basic health care services such as treatment of acute illness and injuries, physical exams, immunizations, medication evaluations and prescriptions.
- Free tutoring for students receiving VA educational benefits
- Paid VA work-study positions
If you’re reading this, you have more spare time than I do—and good for you. I recently retired from a 23-year career as a Cavalry Scout in the U.S. Army and Washington Army National Guard. That means I trained to find people, explore and map necessary routes in unknown environments, and that I responded to domestic emergencies such as hurricanes, woodland fires and rioting. I also ran and taught several courses at military academies in Yakima and Fort Lewis, Wash. When I decided I wanted to do something else in our community, it made sense to study public affairs (basically political science decaffeinated) and plan to work as a bureaucrat for one of many wonderful government agencies that provide citizens with goodies and services, while chasing a city council position after graduating. Ultimately, I would like to be the city manager of one of the smaller communities in Clark County. I grew up in the suburban outskirts of Tacoma and, after living in Seattle, my wife and I moved to her hometown of Battle Ground, where we have a wonderful home for our daughter and her nine pet chickens. I love the small classes, beautiful campus, and being able to connect one-on-one with faculty here at WSU Vancouver. This is truly an opportunity unlike any other in the Portland metro area. If you see me around the campus, say hi. I might even have chocolate to share. So, in the words of my three-year-old, “Go Cougs, everybody!”
Social Science (HR)
Hello, everyone. I am a senior majoring in human resource management/personnel psychology. Before attending college I served 22 years in the United States Marine Corps. Among my military assignments, I served as a senior enlisted advisor, Marine Corps martial arts instructor, detachment commander as a Marine security guard at American embassies, team leader of the Military Security Force for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon, bandmaster and musician. I also served three tours in combat with the 1st Marine Division. I chose WSU Vancouver for its excellent reputation, gorgeous campus, proximity and small school feel, even though it is a major university. I enjoy the quality and professionalism of the professors. Classes are engaging because the professors are committed not only to helping students understand the subject material but also to applying the knowledge outside the classroom. My advice to new students is to develop solid time management skills for studying. I have found it extremely helpful to have a daily and weekly plan for staying on top of school studies. Make a point never to fall behind in any of your classes!
Hello, all. As an Army veteran, I spent six years, including one deployment to Iraq, in the Washington Army National Guard. I chose to attend WSU Vancouver for a few reasons. First, I had heard amazing things about the College of Education and how it helps supports teacher candidates to be the best teachers possible. I genuinely feel I have gained the best education possible. Second, the campus is just a short drive from home each day. Plus, the views on campus are one of a kind. After I graduate, I plan to find a job in a local school district helping young students succeed. To future VanCougs, I say enjoy the journey, and never hesitate to ask for help. WSU Vancouver has many resources to help with academics, such as the Quantitative Skills Center and the Writing Center. The university also has individual resources—such as the Cougar Food Pantry, which provides groceries anonymously for students; counseling services and health services. WSU Vancouver provides whatever students need to succeed in school.
Hello, everyone. I spent a total of 11 years and 9 months in the Washington Army National Guard and the Army Reserves before being medically retired. I was a 19D Cavalry Scout and 74D Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Specialist. Roughly 6.5 years of my reserve time was active. I spent the last six years of my service working for Army North on response missions all over the United States. I chose WSU Vancouver for a couple of reasons, the first being that I live only three-quarters of a mile away. The other is that the Human Development program will give me a wide range of knowledge before I go on to earn a master’s degree in social work. I love this campus because of the smaller class sizes and better interaction with the professors, while never losing the resources of a large campus. After I earn my master’s degree, I hope to work with Veterans Affairs. My advice to students is to get involved any chance you get. There are a lot of clubs on campus such as the Vet Club that are great places to meet other students and have a great time.
Hello, everyone! I served in the Army for over eight years as a human resources NCO (42A3O). I am currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in human development with a certificate in human resources. After medically retiring from the Army, I was unsure of how to make my military career work for me in the civilian world, so I sought advice on what to do and where to go to accomplish my goals. Rather than attend an online college, I decided to attend in person, and WSU Vancouver was my first choice. I chose this university because it is close to home, and that makes attending more enjoyable. They also have the best program that builds on what I already know, and also provides tons of extra information I can use in my next career. Plus, I can create new connections. Upon graduation I plan to continue my HR career. My advice to incoming students is to take the time to read materials from class and take advantage of everything the school has to offer for your success. For veterans, please use your benefits—you have earned them!
Business (Accounting and Finance)
Hi, everyone. I was a flight-equipment technician in the Marine Corps for eight and a half years before starting classes at WSU Vancouver. I chose WSU Vancouver mainly because it is close to home, which makes it easier to balance school, work and family life. One of the many things I enjoy about WSU Vancouver is that everyone is always more than willing to help in any way they can. It was hard to acclimate to the level of difficulty of class assignments. More than once, students I did not even know offered assistance. It was because they helped me understand the content in classes that I have been able to get this far. After I graduate, I plan to work as a personal financial adviser and help others see their money work for them so that they don’t have to work so hard for it. My advice to new students is to use all resources on campus as much as possible, from instructors’ office hours to the Quantitative Skill Center. They are there to benefit you.
Hi everyone! My name is Jared, and I’m a senior majoring in Psychology. I am an Air Force veteran. I spent the majority of my military career working and maintaining the B52h Bombers at Minot AFB, ND. WSU Vancouver was my first choice because of the reputable Psychology and Science programs. I wanted to go to a smaller campus and that’s my favorite part about WSU Vancouver. I’ve had the opportunity to develop connections with my professors and that has facilitated greater learning potential and career progression. I worked as a VA Work Study which allowed me to meet a lot of people and get involved on campus. My advice to students is to apply for financial aid by filing the FAFSA on time. Especially veterans, you can use both financial aid and VA benefits, so take advantage of it!
B.A. Public Affairs, Class of 2017
Hi there, I’m Scott. I graduated from WSU Vancouver in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Public Affairs. I currently work in an attorney’s office and will be starting law school at Willamette University fall 2018. I am a Navy veteran and was stationed at NAS North Island in San Diego, CA. After separating from the military I decided to go back to school and was drawn to WSU Vancouver because of the small campus feel, the brick buildings, and beautiful views of the mountains. I was a non-traditional student and I liked that there were other students my age on campus. During my time at WSU, I got involved in various student organizations including the Veterans Club and Student Government. My best advice to new students is to take advantage of your professor’s office hours, be patient with yourself, and get your work done sooner rather than later.
B.S. Biology, Class of 2017
Hi, I’m Ben. I graduated from WSU Vancouver in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and am currently applying for physician’s assistant programs. I was once a medic in the Army. I chose WSU Vancouver partly because it’s close to home and family, but also because the campus is pretty awesome and dog-friendly which is important because my service dog, Scout attended class with me. Outside of class, I volunteered with Northwest Battle Buddies, a non-profit organization that trains service dogs for veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries. The transition into higher education was a pretty big hurdle for me, so I enjoyed helping other veterans while I was a student. My advice to students is to schedule your study time as you would work hours. It helps you keep up on your studies.
B.S. Electrical Engineering, Class of 2017
Hi, my name is Patricia. I graduated from WSU Vancouver in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. Prior to earning my degree, I served in the United States Navy. I chose WSU Vancouver because I am originally from Washington and wanted to be close to home. WSU Vancouver has great people, a convenient location and awesome professors! Now that I have my degree, my goal is to work as an engineer for the Department of Energy.
B.A. Social Sciences, Class of 2017
Hello, I’m Dave. I served in the United State Marine Corps and graduated from WSU Vancouver in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Social Science with a focus in Human Resource Management. I currently work at Clark College as the Veteran Resource Center Manager. My goal after graduation was to find a job helping veterans transition from the military and I am doing just that.