By Sophia Harris
Jennifer Osgood, a senior health and wellness major, recalled a memory from her time in the Army when she and her boss sat in President Kim Jong-un’s living quarters for a 50th anniversary dinner to commemorate the end of the Korean War.
Destiny Taylor, a sophomore criminology major, explained that being in the National Guard is teaching her that she can do anything she puts her mind to. It also gives her a sense of confidence knowing she can persevere through anything.
Andrew Price, a sophomore computer science major, said if he didn’t serve in the Army, he would not be where he is today. Joining the Army was a life-changing experience he wishes a lot more people could have.
All three FSU students either served or are currently serving in the U.S. Military, and with Veterans Day on Nov. 11, all three reflected on their service.
Veterans Day is a time to honor the veterans who are a part of the community. Framingham State is home to a large student veteran population. Currently, 4% of the student population are veterans, according to Shawn Aldrich, coordinator of veteran and military services.
According to the U.S Department of Veteran Affairs, a veterans’ celebration was first held in Birmingham, Alabama, Nov. 11, 1947. This day was then called Armistice Day until 1954, when President Dwight Eisenhower signed a bill into law officially naming Nov. 11 Veterans Day.
All three veterans came from different backgrounds, but they are now FSU students working toward completing their degrees.
Jennifer Osgood joined the Army at age 19. She has since become a police officer and is now working toward her degree in health and wellness.
The hardest part about serving in the Army was missing “milestones that happened back home,” she said.
Osgood said it was hard leaving her sister, who was pregnant with her godson. “That was really hard because we were very close.”
Joining the Army, she said she learned a lot about herself and who she was as a person. Osgood said she learned she is “extremely independent.”
What joining the Army taught her is “how lucky we are to be an American and to have the rights and freedoms that we have.”
She added seeing other countries where “their citizens don’t have their rights and freedoms like we do here” made her value the freedoms Americans enjoy.
Destiny Taylor is a sophomore criminology major who is currently in her third year in the Army National Guard.
Taylor said one of the hardest parts about being in the National Guard is her physical condition, adding during basic training, she was “the smallest female” at 4 feet 11 inches, compared to her peers.
Being in the National Guard, Taylor said she learned new traits about herself, such as determination and perseverance. Taylor added, “If I knew what I would go through during basic training, I don’t think I would have done it because I would have doubted myself. But being there, it just really taught me that I can do whatever I put my mind to.”
Taylor said that the National Guard taught her how to “get things done under pressure in an efficient and timely manner.” It has also taught her “how to be responsible and independent at a very young age [because she] joined when [she] was 17 years old,” she said.
Andrew Price is a sophomore computer science major who served in the Army and is currently in the Army Reserves.
He said the hardest part about being in the Reserves is the time constraints.
Price said, “It’s tough to be able to handle school while also still being in the military.”
Being in the Army, Price said he learned a lot about himself, emphasizing how he learned he is more strong-willed than he thought.
“I’m able to persevere and essentially deal with a lot of things at once, whether it’s good or bad,” he added.
Price said the Army taught him the notion, “No matter how hard things get, there are always going to be good times or you’re always going to push through.”
All three veterans agreed that transitioning from military life to college life can be challenging, but there are resources on campus to help with the transition.
The Veterans Services Center is located in Dwight Hall 113, coordinated by Shawn Aldrich, and has various resources, including information about scholarships, grants, and benefits.
Taylor said she wants students to know that although being in the Army National Guard is time consuming, it allows people to be a part of something more, adding, “It’s a big commitment. You meet your bestest friends. I have friends all over the world now. You’re part of something that’s much bigger than you.”