Otterbein Retired and Active Duty Military Share Why They Serve

Posted Nov 11, 2021

Otterbein University is proud of the members of the armed forces we have as part of the campus community. As part of recognizing those individual’s service to our country, here are 11 students sharing why they joined the military.

Duncan Squillante

Duncan Squillante, ’21, Admission Counselor, public relations and health communications 
Ohio Army National Guard
“I joined the National Guard to help pay for school and gain experiences that I wouldn’t get anywhere else. This would also be a chance to help my community and be part of something bigger. The National Guard has helped me develop a sense of discipline to be successful in both my classwork and in life.” 

Alex Sharpe ’20, criminal justice studies
United States Air Force

“My family had always been involved in the military and this gave me an opportunity to carry on that tradition, be involved in my community, learn a trade, and earn great educational benefits. The biggest thing being in the Reserves helped me with in college was time management, organization, and discipline.”

Micah Stuart Photo

Micah Stuart ’22, sport management major, communications minor 
Army National Guard 

“A couple of weeks before I left for basic training, I found out I was going to be a dad soon and this gave me the ability to help support not only myself, but my daughter. My experiences so far have honestly helped me stay more on top of things. I’m a lot more task oriented and better able to deal with different types of adversity better.” 

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Joanne Theresa Davis ’23, nursing major, health communication and nutrition minors
United States Army Reserve 

“I always knew growing up that I wanted to be an army nurse. I wanted a career that was fulfilling and challenging but rewarding at the same time. My military experience helped me become a better communicator, leader, and become more adaptable. All these skills apply in the classroom and have prepared me to succeed in college.” 

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Zane Scheiderer ’22, sport management major, race and ethnic studies minor
Ohio Army National Guard 

“I am the fourth generation in my family to serve in the army, so I wanted to continue that tradition. I also joined because the education benefits are great. The level of discipline and responsibility that it instills in you is something that can be carried over to any aspect of life, and especially in college. The military has given me a great deal of maturity which has helped in my success here at Otterbein.” 

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Nate Newman ’23, psychology
United States Army, retired

“The military gave me the opportunity to go to college with the benefits they provide to service members. My time in the military gave me a sense of discipline and self-confidence that I lacked prior to joining. These things gave me the skills needed to persevere towards personal goals and aspirations.” 

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Collin Kightlinger ’24, mechanical engineering major, mathematics minor
United States Navy, retired

“I wanted to fly jets from a very early age, so I went to Navy Officer Candidate School after graduating from college at my previous school. I’ve learned that in an environment where having telephone pole sized missiles hurled at you and landing on an aircraft carrier at night in poor weather prepares you for most things the civilian world can send your way.” 

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Derek Martin ’23, MBA
United States Navy, retired

“When I entered my senior year of high school, I had no direction regarding my future. A Navy recruiter contacted me, and 11 months later I departed for boot camp. The flexibility, attention to detail, and focus were some of the aspects which helped to prepare me for life after the military.” 

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Gabrielle Webb ’25, nursing 
Ohio Air National Guard 

“I joined to gain life experience and to make a difference by joining something larger than myself. My service prepared me for college because it got me out of my hometown, and I was able to experience so many new places and new people that I would never have gotten to without the Air Force. This also helped prepare me for being a nursing major. I trained to become a combat medic on the service side, so it has helped me because I already have so much experience with patient care by having worked in a hospital both domestic and while deployed.” 

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Ashleigh Woods-Richards ’24, middle childhood education
Ohio Air National Guard 

“I wanted real world experience and I needed to find a way to pay for college. The military has taught me how to talk to people from all backgrounds and techniques for accomplishing multiple tasks at once while still prioritizing what needs done first.” 

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Jake Traxler ’22, nursing
United States Air Force 

“I chose to serve because of my love for this country and my desire to be a part of something bigger than myself. My military experience has enabled me to grow as a person and become more focused on my professional goals.”