After 12 years in the Marine Corps, Kevin Coleman's journey brought him to SUNY Oswego first for a bachelor's in history, and now for a master's in childhood education. A combat veteran with medals of heroism from the Navy and Marine Corps, he currently teaches a sixth-grade class in Syracuse, which he loves, and also raves about the efforts of Ben Parker, of Oswego's Veterans and Military Services of Office, faculty and others who have helped him along the way.

What made you interested in teaching?

My mother's an educator, so I always had it in the back of my mind. When I took my test for my placement with the VA the counselor looked at my records and said, "You're a teacher. You've been a teacher. How about teaching?" And I said, "You know what? That's right up my alley."

How are you enjoying teaching?

Oh, I love it. I love that sixth-grade class. I go in smiling. Talking and shaking hands and just trying to build a rapport with them, trying to build a relationship, a personal relationship, where they can trust me to know what I'm talking about and to help them the rest of the way through.

What can you tell us about your military career?

I spent 12 years in the Marine Corps. I was stationed in California at Camp Pendleton. I did Desert Storm, Desert Shield. I was also part of Operation Restore Hope.

What do you think about Oswego's services for veterans?

Ben (Parker, veterans and military services coordinator) is our focal point for all the veterans here that I've met. He kind of prepares us for school, for the school environment. Anything you need you go to Ben and he's there for you. We setup parties, meet and greets, so that all the veterans know each other on campus. And they got the Veterans Center, they got money donated for the Veterans Center that we have here now. It's beautiful and we go there to relax and to decompress.

What do you think about Oswego's faculty?

I have not met a faculty member who was not 100 percent engaged in helping you attain your education. Every one of them they've been fantastic.