I Served My Country

Student Veteran Adam C

Adam C.


U.S. Army, 1993 – 2014

Growing up in the greatest state in the union, others call it Oregon, there was never a time I would not join the Army. I enlisted as an MP and they told me I had to join for five years active, and I enjoyed it so much I figured, “what is fifteen more years?” During my twenty-one years in the Army, I lived thirteen years overseas with the bulk of it in Central Europe. I visited twenty-six countries. Just a few of the things I saw – the mostly complete Roman Colosseum, Transylvania Valley lit under a full moon, and the foothills of the Himalayas in northern Iraq. After retiring, I used my VA benefits and returned to school. After graduation, I plan on giving back and becoming a teacher, focusing on underserved communities. During my free time, I will spend as many hours as I can in the outdoors and creative spaces.


Student Veteran Korey F

Korey F.


U.S. Marine Corps, 2013 – 2018

I look back fondly on my time serving our country. The sense of community that was always present in the service was something I admired and have strived to build upon as my journey has transitioned from the military to OSU-Cascades. Nowadays, I find myself immersed in outdoor communities of many varieties, but you are most likely to see me in my favorite place, out on the river, where I will be whitewater kayaking, rafting, fly fishing or running with my dog, Kenai. Be Kind. Be Present. Be Yourself.


Student Veteran Alex K

Alex K.


U.S. Navy, 2014 – 2021

Most individuals join the service right after high school. I had a different experience. When I first graduated high school, I went to community college for two years then attended Portland State University. I was working multiple jobs to pay for school and decided to drop out because I wasn’t passionate about the degree I was pursuing. After two years of being employed at various jobs, I decided to make a positive change in my life. I didn’t want to put myself into debt by acquiring loans for school, nor did I want to work multiple jobs to make ends meet. I realized joining the Navy would be the best option.

I had to deal with a lot of hardships I didn’t anticipate when I signed up; some friends ceased all contact with me, people I served with and established close bonds with ended up committing suicide, and many family events were missed due to deployments. But with anything in life there is good and bad — I was able to travel all over the world, live abroad for three years and experience the world from the middle of the ocean. After my contract ended, I realized I was passionate about forensic science and wanted to pursue a career in that field. I was born in Eastern Oregon and raised in Central Oregon. I decided to move back to Central Oregon and attend OSU-Cascades to finish my degree in biology. With my experience and ambition, I hope to stay here and preserve this amazing community so we don’t turn into a mini-California.


Student Veteran Chris R

Chris R.



In 2007, I was laid off from my position of motorcycle technician at Harley Davidson. I noticed there was a trend in the industry. Everyone was being laid off, except for veterans. I thought to myself, “I’d like to get me some of that “good ol’ boy” fraternal lovin’ that is a lesser-known perk of military service. After watching the movies “Stripes” and “Spies Like Us,” I was sold on the romanticized vision of cinematic patriotism. I signed my life away on the dotted line to the U.S. Army for three years, some added rank, and a $7,000 bonus to be a 52 Delta. That’s a generator repair specialist to civilians.

After training, I went to my unit, 10th Mountain, in Fort Polk, Louisiana. Most of our unit was already deployed to the political district of Rusafa. This was in Bagdad on the eastern bank of the Tigris River. Our commander pushed us through two weeks of accelerated pre-deployment training. I felt just like Chevy Chase and Dan Ackroyd being thrown in a mud puddle while under fire. It was laughable, fun and didn’t prepare us for the realities of war. The sheer insanity of military service and war left me with a restless energy I didn’t know what to do with. Realizing I was comparing my experience to a cinematic experience, the only logical thing to do was hone that energy into art. Since I love the magic of the written word, I decided to come to OSU-Cascades for the master of fine arts in creative writing program. I was left with some big questions about existence, philosophy and how to inspire our civilization through literature. I found OSU-Cascades’ MFA to be a perfect fit for the journey I am on.


Student Veteran Brian S

Brian S.


U.S. Navy, 1998 – 2018

I joined the Navy in 1998 after two semesters at Portland Community College because I could no longer afford college. I figured I would join for four years and then head back to college, but I ended up staying for 20 because I really loved my job and all of the places it took me around the globe. I attended five different colleges while I was in, never really having a goal, but it prepared me to go back full-time as a 40-year-old once I returned home to Oregon. I retired three years ago and will graduate from OSU this spring. I plan on attending Lewis and Clark Schoolof Environmental Law in the Fall of 2022 to work toward my master’s in environmental law. OSU-Cascades has been great, and I’m so glad we have this awesome school right here in Central Oregon!