United States Navy | 1997-2012
Undergraduate Student, Electrical Engineering major
What was your job in the military?
Electronic Technician (maintenance and repair of computer and communication systems)
What was the best part of serving in the military?
It's hard to say a singular "best part". I loved the people I worked with. I loved going to different countries. I loved having a tech job and seeing my abilities improve. I loved adding to my family's tradition of military service.
What does it mean to be a Veteran at UF?
Being a Veteran means to me that I have a certain bond with fellow Veterans just by nature of having shared so many similar experiences. It brings a feeling of familiarity that makes me genuinely happy inside. We don't even have to come from the same branch, base or ship; some things are unique to the military and are the same no matter where you served. Students at UF will come to experience the same type of bond with peers and fellow alumni. For example, if I find any Computer - or Electrical Engineer that is close to graduating and mention the number "37", I know I'm going to get that grin of familiarity. This is akin to when I meet another sailor. I could also run into any UF student, no matter their major, and mention Turlington Plaza or Krishna Lunch and share some smiles. This is like meeting a Veteran from a different branch of service.
How does your military experience affect your life today?
I pay attention to the world around me more. I see the importance of procedures, routines, and safety precautions. I also try harder to look for dangers and how to mitigate them. The most important experience is how I see people. Too many people today don't seem to realize that we all come from different backgrounds and experiences; the result of this oversight is unnecessary and unfair judgments and criticisms. The military is nothing less than a collection of people from every possible race, religion, and background. The more people you meet, the more you realize how differently the same world can be viewed by different people.
BEST food you ate in the military?
We had Surf'n'Turf a lot (the surf coming in the form of crab legs, lobster, or popcorn shrimp). There were breaded fish planks I used to live for. Come breakfast time, the hashbrowns were usually perfect, but the weirdest food I'd look forward to eating was toast with a strange meat gravy. (Officially it is called something like "Chipped Beef", unofficially it is called S.O.S.).
WORST food you ate in the military?
It was labeled Country Fried Steak... but really it was LIVER!!!
Is there anything you want the UF campus and community to know about Veterans?
Please do not judge us from how we are represented on T.V. and in movies, nor from any second-hand source of information. Just ask.