Weekly 5: Meet Five WOU Veterans

American flags waving in the wind, lining a street with autum leaves

In honor of Veterans Day and the activities hosted by our Veterans Resource Center throughout this week, we wanted to introduce you to five veterans who are part of our WOU community. Thank you to these students and staff for talking with us, and to all veterans for your service.

Man in red shift standing in front of a scenic view with blue sky
Brian Ulbricht

Brian Ulbricht

Brian Ulbricht, a Public Policy and Administration Major from Seaside, served in the Army. He served as a military police sergeant and some of his assignments included Germany, Georgia, Washington, and the Netherlands. He also served one tour in Afghanistan in 2012.

What helped you transition from military service to campus?
Being engaged on campus has helped fill a sense of purpose that military service once filled.

Do you have any advice you’d like to share with veterans considering attending after their service college?
Keep the work ethic that you had in the military because college requires some effort.

Why did you join the military?
I joined the military because I wanted to do something different from my family and high school classmates.

What’s your favorite memory from your military service?
My favorite memory was marching across the Fort Stewart, Georgia parade field for a homecoming ceremony, and meeting my family after serving in Afghanistan.

What’s your least favorite MRE?
Vegetarian Cheese Omelette. The worst part was I couldn’t heat it up at the time.

Why did you choose to attend WOU?
I chose to attend WOU because they accepted almost all of my transfer credits.

Woman with blonde hair and wearing a dark coat smiles at the camera
Amber Jahn

Amber Jahn

Amber Jahn served in the Marines before coming to WOU, from Kent, Wash., to major in English Studies. She was a military police officer stationed in Washington D.C. from 2013-18. She was part of an executive flight detachment providing security for presidential assets such as Marine One, the president’s helicopter. A typical day for her consisted of rotating through different posts providing various types of security such as monitoring cameras, rooftop patrols, binocular/night vision goggle scans, and checking IDs at an access control point. She was also a ceremonial guard (i.e., she stood outside the helicopter and saluted as the president got on and off) for Presidents Obama and Trump.

Why did you choose to attend WOU?
I originally transferred to WOU because of their ASL interpreting program.

What helped you transition from military service to campus?
I learned to compliment people instead of roast them.

Do you have any advice you’d like to share with veterans considering attending after their service college?
Remember that you’re more than your past and what you’ve accomplished in the military. One of the hardest things about getting out is losing the sense of identity the military gave you. Take advantage of the GI bill, obviously, and also apply for FAFSA.

Why did you join the military?
I met a very convincing recruiter.

What’s your favorite memory from your military service?
Eating hummus in Israel at a café on the Mediterranean during President Obamas 2016 trip there. Thanks Obama.

What’s your least favorite MRE?
Anything that wasn’t chili mac.

Man crouched down on snow petting two dogs
Jake Sutherby

Jake Sutherby

Jake Sutherby is an Interdisciplinary Studies major from Elma, Wash., who served in the Marines. He deployed to Japan and did training operations in Mongolia, South Korea and Japan. He was in the communications department of an artillery battalion.

Why did you choose to attend WOU?
A friend showed it to me and I liked it.

What helped you transition from military service to campus?
Friends.

Do you have any advice you’d like to share with veterans considering attending after their service college?
Don’t overthink things everything will work out.

Why did you join the military?
To serve my country.

What’s your favorite memory from your military service?
Exploring Tokyo with friends.

What’s your least favorite MRE?
Chicken pesto pasta.

Woman smiling into camera
Chanel Karbonski

Chanel Karbonski

An Art and Design major from Gladstone, Chanel Karbonski served in the Navy. Based in Norfolk, Virginia, she was deployed to Kuwait and Bahrain.

What helped you transition from military service to campus?
Talking with veterans on campus.

Why did you join the military?
I wanted to better myself.

What’s your favorite memory from your military service?
Working in medical while deployed and learning a lot about that field of study.

What’s your least favorite MRE?
Vegetarian pasta.

 

Man smiling in blue long-sleeved shirt and khakis. Service yellow lab with blue jacked sitting on his lap
Colin Haines and Kender

Colin G. Haines

Colin Haines is WOU’s director of the Veterans Resource Center. You can learn more about him in a story we did about him earlier this week. He served in the Army and completed his master’s in Information Technology before joining WOU’s staff as VRC director. During his time in the Army, he served in Fort Bragg, Fort Lewis, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Why did you choose to attend WOU?
The Info Tech program seemed almost tailor-made for my educational goals.

What helped you transition from military service to campus?
I honestly had a tough time. I attended a private Christian university and I wish I would have had some of the services we enjoy here at WOU.

Do you have any advice you’d like to share with veterans considering attending after their service college?
Absolutely do it! And don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you ask, there will be no shortage of people willing to help you out.

Why did you join the military?
My sense of adventure and the student loan repayment program.

What’s your favorite memory from your military service?
Seeing my friend learn to run again on an artificial leg. His perseverance was heartwarming.

What’s your least favorite MRE?
The cheese and veggie omelet. Yuk! Thank the stars they discontinued that unit.

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