Life After the Marine Corps
Vaughn Martin made the decision to enlist in the Marine Corps when he was 18 years old, foregoing college. After serving four years in active duty, Vaughn returned to Connecticut and worked for five years before being laid off. He worked odd jobs to stay afloat after buying a house and marrying his longtime girlfriend, Minka. After a chance meeting with a recruiter who encouraged him to look into the Yellow Ribbon Program, Vaughn researched Goodwin College and felt that it was his time to pursue an education.
After attending a nursing seminar, Vaughn decided to pursue a career in healthcare. Without the Yellow Ribbon Program, a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 allowing institutions of higher learning in the United States to voluntarily enter into an agreement with VA to fund tuition expenses, Vaughn would not have been able to attend school. “The Yellow Ribbon Program helped bridge the gap. It was a godsend. There is no way I could have gone if Goodwin didn’t participate in this,” Vaughn said.
Selected as student speaker at the 2013 Commencement on June 6, Vaughn embodies the characteristics Goodwin hopes to see in their students. Vaughn has been actively involved in the Goodwin community serving as the Leader of the Veteran’s Club, Former President of the Student Nursing Association, and Hoffman Family Library employee.
Jan Costello, Chair of the Nursing department said, “Vaughn is a very gregarious person who is liked by all who meet him. As the President of the Goodwin College Student Nurse Association he used this strength to lead the nursing students effectively and provided support to many. His positive outlook will serve him well as a registered nurse.”
Vaughn’s time in the Marines instilled a sense of pride in him. “I wasn’t disciplined enough when I was younger. I don’t think I would get as much out of my education if I had gone right out of high school. After serving in the military I took with me the values I learned from our creed – honor, courage, and commitment,” Vaughn stated.
Career Services aided Vaughn in resume building and helped place him at his clinical at Johnson Medical Center in Stafford Springs, Connecticut, where he was recently offered a position as a registered nurse when he passes the boards. “Goodwin was my second chance. Goodwin saved me from a lifetime of mediocre work. I felt taken care of. They help foster learning here. It’s not just about the degree,” Vaughn said.
Vaughn recalled taking a Humanities class, a prerequisite that some of his fellow nursing students didn’t see value in. During one class his professor stated, “What will you talk about with patients if they don’t want to talk about their ailments?” Being well-rounded and educated on various topics is a valuable asset. “That’s when it clicked for me. It helped me see beyond nursing. Goodwin doesn’t just graduate nursing students, they graduate scholars who happen to be nurses,” Vaughn stated.
Goodwin College is proud to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program, allowing veterans a wonderful opportunity. “If anyone has a desire to succeed and if any veteran hopes to find a career after serving, this is the school that can help them achieve what they desire to be.”
By: Hannah Stacy