Veterans Day Spotlight: Iraq Vet Transitions to College

Posted by on November 11, 2013

United States Marine Lance Corporal Chris Mayen has seen a lot of action and been to 23 countries. Starting college at Minnesota School of Business (MSB) at the age of 27, however, is among the most exciting and challenging adventures he has known.

Lance Corporal Chris Mayen India Battery, 2nd Battalion, 10th Marines in Iraq

He admits it has been difficult getting started, but he wants everyone to know, “I don’t quit anything.”

Mayen was forced to take a medical retirement from the Marines due to health issues unrelated to his military service. It was a tough blow for a young man who entered the service straight out of high school and intended to make the military his career.

Upon returning from the Middle East in 2009, he decided to go to college and major in business in order to help manage the family business, Mayen’s Family Resort, in Grand Rapids, M.N.

He chose the business management program at MSB after reading about the school and listening to others recommend it as an ideal college for those who need flexibility in juggling work, school and family life. He learned of the school’s military scholarships after speaking to an admissions representative and registered for classes.

As a first quarter student, Mayen began classes this fall when life took another sharp and unexpected turn. His stepmother suddenly died, leaving the family in shock and experiencing great loss.

Chris Mayen

He took a short time off to deal with his grief, and then quickly refocused on school.

“I’ve got a lot to catch up on,” he admits. But he is determined to finish this quarter, work on his degree and work toward his future.

Mayen reflected on how he got to where he is today.

“I had a full scholarship to college after high school,” he says. “But I wanted to experience the world and see different places. Life in the military was exciting, but there were ups and downs. But I got to travel a lot. It was an adventure.”

Looking ahead to college is just another adventure in Mayen’s eyes. And a whole new chapter of life.

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