Editor’s Note: This article is the third story in a 4-part-series of profiles highlighting veterans at Fort Lewis College.
Skeet served in the Marine Corps for four years. She worked for a three star general working with classified materials at the Marine Corps headquarters in Washington D.C.
“I actually worked in a vault,” she said. “It had a huge combination just to open my office.”
She joined after high school in 1987 so that she could get her college education paid for.
“During Desert Storm I had some really crazy work shifts,” Skeet said. “We would work 12 hour shifts seven days a week for two weeks straight, then we would get a day off. We had drivers that would take us home and to our office.”
When she got out of the military, Skeet attended Michigan and got a degree in film.
“My brother went to school at FLC,” she said. “I never would have wanted to come here because I like the midwest better, but Fort Lewis does have a good marketing program.”
Skeet has always been a non-traditional student, she said. But now it’s even harder because of her age.
“Because I am older it’s hard fitting in here,” she said. “Now that i’m older, the learning process is a lot different for me. As i’ve gotten older it’s been harder to build relationships. I don’t know what the children are thinking.”
There is also no real support for non-traditional students, she said.
“There are a lot of walls you have to jump over,” Skeet said. “Financial aid is very strict with me about the classes I’m taking. Everyone else has been learning for the past 12 years and they have an idea of the technology, but I haven’t been in school since 2003, so I had to kind of catch up but no one was willing to help.”
She thinks the stamina and the opportunity to become a leader within the military has helped her in school.
“One of the Marine Corps main quotes is ‘Semper Fi’ which means always faithful,” she said. “When things get really hard it’s hard to gauge if you can’t really believe in something that you’re doing, and I think that’s what the military provided. That you can believe in yourself and get the job done.”