You would think 20 years of service would prepare you for any adventure. That’s what former Navy Petty Officer and retired Army National Guard Soldier Reagan Metcalf thought. But he was surprised to learn that his transition from serviceman to first-year student was as difficult as any mission he’d faced — especially because he thought he had to do it alone.

That’s where Jathan Chicoine comes in. As the veterans services coordinator at Iowa State, he reaches out to veterans and military personnel like Reagan to make them feel welcome the moment they step on campus. It usually begins with an invitation to the weekly Thursday night dinners where newly arrived veterans can meet others who have made the transition from the structured life of the military and are enjoying their new adventure.

At Iowa State, we know how important it is for students to get off to a great start. That’s why we put so much emphasis into helping first-year students succeed, both socially and academically. We have learning communities that are nationally recognized. Our many support services through the Veterans Center and student organizations like Cypport and ISUSVA have earned us designations as MilitaryTimes‘ Best for Vets Colleges, Military Advanced Education‘s Top Colleges and Universities, and Victory Media’s Military Friendly School. Not to mention, Iowa State University is designated as a Home Base Iowa Certified Higher Academic Military Partner (CHAMP).

How is Reagan doing on his adventure? “Iowa State provides a place where I can go and talk to people who understand who I am, where I’ve been, and what I might need,” Reagan said. “We’re a diverse group that can help a veteran navigate the often rough waters of college.”

Learn more about Iowa State’s Veterans Center.

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