SEMO proudly celebrates our student military members. Not only do these individuals willingly serve our country, they have also made a commitment to themselves by working towards earning a college degree.
This week, as we celebrate Veterans Day, we caught up with a few students who have previously served in the military or are currently in the National Guard. We asked about their journey to SEMO, how their military service has shaped them, and how that experience has prepared them for life as a college student.
Johnny Pulliam, Previous Active-Duty
Major: Wildlife Biology and Conservation
Johnny shared that being in the military has taught him to be more forward-minded and to focus on what he wants from life. He joined the military to explore the world and to serve his country.
"SEMO has supported me by having an area for other like-minded individuals to gather and support each other. The Office of Military and Veteran Services is a great benefit to students who are trying to transition back to a normal life." Johnny continued, "without that stable environment, I doubt I would have continued schooling."
When asked what he would like others to know about the military, he stated, "being in the military gives you the chance to meet some of the best people in the world who will always have your back years after leaving the forces."
Thank a Veteran
SEMO invites you to help us honor our veterans. Please take a moment to write a thank you note, share a story, or simply express gratitude for their service and sacrifice.
Tyrah Hartle, National Guard
Major: General Studies
Minor: Military Science
"I chose SEMO because of its sense of home," Tyrah stated when asked about her experience with SEMO and the support she has received on campus. "SEMO does an incredible job of helping and supporting its student military members. The Office of Military and Veteran Services and Show Me Gold program have been great resources and helpful knowing there are people in your corner."
Tyrah said her relationship to the military has shown her who she is and what she stands for. She said the military has a unique way of bringing out each person's strengths and weaknesses, and using them to better the team. Hartle also shared she has discovered how impactful it can be when people put their differences aside and work together for a common goal.
"Civilian support matters," Tyrah told us and added, "we are proud to serve, and we are thankful for the opportunity to do so, but we also face struggles."
Hannah Porter, National Guard
Major: Biomedical Science
Minor: Chemistry and Military Science
Hannah is currently a student-worker through the VA on campus, which provided support financially, academically, and socially when she returned to school from training. She is involved in the SEMO Student Veterans Organization which offers a network for student military members.
"Being in the National Guard and a student has shown me work ethic and determination. My experience meeting other veterans in the Office of Military and Veteran Services has helped me learn from people of all walks of life, which in turn, has developed my character--a young adult, student, and soldier," Hannah shared. She is also grateful there is a safe space on campus for veterans.
When asked why she chose to enlist in the military, she said initially it was based on finances to facilitiate attending college. As a first-generation student, she felt this was her only option to obtain a bachelor's degree. She futher said, "after enlisting and training with my unit, I found that I love the environment and opportunities the military provides."
Air Force ROTC
Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) at Southeast is the avenue to become an Air Force officer.
The Show-Me Guard Officer Leadership Development Program (GOLD) allows students to earn a degree while preparing to serve as future officers in the Missouri National Guard.
Dedicated on September 25, 2020, the plaza stands as a reminder of the University's gratitude for veterans of all eras. To purchase a commemorative brick, contact the University's Alumni Association Office at (573) 651-2259.