“It is a tradition in my family to serve for at least a couple of years. You should serve your country [the United States], someone has to do it. And I like being a soldier. I ended up being good at it and stayed longer in the army.  If it were up to me, I would have continued to serve, but due to my injury I had to leave. I love the army and I miss it every day.  I miss the camaraderie of soldiers. Serving, you create a strong brotherhood, inseparable bonds and friendships.

I served throughout Africa, Europe, and Asia, from the Middle East to East Asia, mostly teaching foreign soldiers basic skills and marksmanship, and I was also a weapons instructor.

I was in the army for ten years before coming to Anglo-American University in 2010. By that time I had been all around the world. Moving here for school was easy, but it was hard to undergo such a serious change from being a soldier to being a student. After a while I left school and started a full-time job, but now, after a few years of working office jobs and bartending in Harley’s, I came back to university.

Coming back at my age can definitely be frustrating. I have a lot more in common with the professors at school than I do with the students. I don’t know how many times I have been stopped and asked what class I will be teaching at the university, by both students and professors. But my experience at AAU is definitely a positive one. It’s great to meet and talk to people from all around the world.

I study International Relations while part-time bartending at Harley’s now. I also just started working for EUSA, providing international students with academic internships.”

Photo courtesy of Ryan Miller