To celebrate Military Appreciation Month, we continue featuring servicemembers in the FHSU community, beginning with Sami Montgomery, an FHSU Tiger who joined the Army Reserves in 2019 after earning her bachelor’s in biology.
“I joined due to my desire to serve our country while also getting financial assistance to meet my education/career goals,” Montgomery says.
Since joining the Reserves, Montgomery has experienced situations that have challenged her resiliency and problem-solving skills. Because of this, she has learned to go beyond her comfort zone and to appreciate the small things.
Montgomery has come to understand that service members have unique struggles requiring the support of family and friends. Students and faculty can help as well by working to ease everyday stress.
“Lastly, I would encourage anyone that is on the fence about joining the service to go for it! The life lessons I have gained, even in my short time of service, have made it worth it.”
Unlike Montgomery, Travis Kaufman no longer serves in the military. Even though he left active duty in 2008, he still considers himself a Marine.
“It is also well known in the military community that once you earn the title of Marine, it can never be taken away,” he says.
Though this Marine now focuses on finishing his MBA at FHSU, Kaufman carries with him the lessons his service taught him.
“Teamwork and camaraderie are the most important contributions to success,” he says. “Things may not always go as planned, but if you pull together, you can overcome any obstacle.”
He considers it an honor to have been able to serve his country and believes supporting veterans is one way to show thanks for their sacrifices.
Kaufman says he knows not everyone will have the opportunity to serve their country as he did, but he encourages those considering service to jump at the opportunity.
“It is the only way you will know if it is something that you really want to do, and in the process of deciding whether or not to make it a career, you will benefit from experiences and educational opportunities that cannot be taught in any other setting.”
Educational opportunities drive many people to the military. Now a leading petty officer in Southern California, Courtney Cordova joined the Navy in 2009 to help pay for college.
Her time in the Navy has taught her time management and how to work with different types of people, further advancing her educational goals.
“I credit the Navy for helping me decide on my major [in] sociology because of all of the different countries and cultures I have been able to explore while on deployments and detachments,” Cordova says.
To her, support for veteran students and faculty is important for the difficult experiences each has had to face, which affect their daily lives. She has found this support during her time with FHSU.
“I have had the best time going to this university virtually. I really appreciate all of the support that FHSU gives to its veterans.”
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Corie is a student intern in the Office of University Relations and Marketing.