Last Thursday the Commuter Resource Center and the Veterans Resource Office honored local veterans with a reception, held in the Rogue River Room of the Stevenson Union.
Mark Treglia, a Navy veteran, was a guest speaker at the event, and honored attendees with a speech on the meaning of sacrifice.
Now 45 years old, Treglia served in the Navy as a chemical biological and radiological warfare specialist for 22 years, where he participated in firefighting training development, as well as other crucial undertakings. Five years ago, he left the Navy and became a full-time student at Southern Oregon University in January 2011.
Treglia says some of his courses aren’t challenging due to his life experiences, though all the same, the college experience has been “pretty good overall.”
“The challenge has been trying to figure out what I’m going to do and seeing where I fit in,” he said. “It’s been five years, but it’s still really tough.”
Deciding to pursue a major in business and management, Treglia looks forward to earning a bachelor’s degree and is looking into the master’s program.
“I would like to have a degree to back up my experiences,” he said. “I’m ready to go to work.”
Army veteran and full-time student Jesse Allred said he found it comforting to be in school.
“I have two terms left, and it’s scary wondering if your degree will help you get a job,” said Allred, 32.
Allred wasn’t able to attend the Veterans Reception but said the honor of Veteran’s Day was enough.
“It feels pretty cool to be reminded that people really do care,” he said.
Allred spent three years serving in the Army, where his job was to pack parachutes and parachute out of airplanes.
Having grown up in Ashland, he decided to attend SOU after receiving an associate’s degree at Rogue Community College. He is currently working to pursue a degree in computer science, focusing on digital multimedia. Although he has met challenges in the coursework and coping with injuries from his time in the service, Allred maintains a positive outlook.
“For the most part, it’s been pretty great,” he said. “I always feel like if you put in the work, you’re going to get your money’s worth.”
Although he hasn’t visited participated in all of the resources and events available to Veterans on campus, Allred says he appreciates their presence.
“It’s comforting to know that that’s there if you ever needed it,” he said.
Treglia says that he would like to see the veteran community grow at SOU.
“I’d like the school to take a larger commitment to vets by increasing staff resources,” he said.