From the United States Navy to Ferris State University, one student opens up about his experience as a veteran.
Nicholas Galloway was enlisted in the Navy from 2005 until 2011, where he eventually became a second class petty officer. A person can change a lot in six years – especially when that stint begins with boot camp.
“Boot camp makes you grow up or find something else,” Galloway explained. “I’m not the same person as when I left.”
Galloway served as an information systems technician for the Navy, where he worked on systems that were classified top secret.
“It’s where I found my niche in that world,” Galloway said.
Now a senior in the information security and intelligence program after only three years, Galloway experienced quite the culture shock when he first started at Ferris in the fall of 2011.
“Unless you’ve been a veteran, you don’t understand really what we go through,” Galloway said. “The change to such a relaxed structure is rather challenging.”
Galloway went on to express a frustration, after years of working alongside adults everyday, with having to work with young students who may not be as motivated.
The number one challenge he has faced: meeting new people. Galloway credits much of the help he has received in this area to the Ferris State University Student Veterans Association, of which he is currently the President.
The Veterans Association is a way to make new friends, assist new veterans coming into the university, raise awareness about the differences between a traditional student and a veteran student, and help area veterans with anything they may need.
“It is invaluable, I think, to even be able to talk about whatever’s on your mind,” Galloway said about the atmosphere at Veterans Association meetings.
Galloway commends Ferris State for being a veteran-friendly university, helping him have an easy transition. He credits Adam Forbes, Veterans Program Specialist, for the help.
“Adam does a wonderful job of making sure we have all our ducks in a row when we come,” Galloway explained.
The most evident example of the good treatment of veterans that Galloway describes will occur in the coming week, in celebration of Veterans Day.