Chaz Fowler, a political science senior from Bay City, is determined to finish his degree after serving five years in the Marines.
“I always wanted to be a federal agent,” Fowler said. “I tried accounting, and it was miserable. When I got here, I had to choose something, and politics is interesting.”
Fowler originally joined the Marines to pay for school and to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps.
“[I went into the Marines] to pay for college, but my grandfather had also served as a Navy veteran,” he said. “So, it was kind of for him.”
Fowler doesn’t plan on returning to the Marines since he is now in violation of its tattoo policy. All tattoos must be able to be covered and must be two inches above or below the knee.
Fowler said training for the Marines was rough, arduous and long.
“I couldn’t quit,” Fowler said. “I couldn’t go home without succeeding. That kept me there no matter how challenging it was. I realized I could never face coming back not having made it. I didn’t want to answer to that.”
After graduating from SVSU, Fowler said he hopes to make it into law school.
“I would like to see if I can get into law school,” he said. “If I could get into one, I’d like to get into the University of Washington or Florida State. I’m also working on commissioning for the army.”
Fowler said veterans looking to go to school should not hesitate to do so.
“Don’t wait,” he said. “Don’t think that things are going to figure themselves out. They didn’t do that in the military for you. They’re not going to do it outside of the military. You’re only going to be as successful as you make yourself and one of the most uncomfortable situations you can be in is a place that you’ve never been before but generally that’s right where you should be.”
He said students thinking of serving after graduation should be humble and “really willing to be receptive.”
“Be super willing to learn because when you come out of college, you’ve already got your degree,” he said. “You’ve already graduated high school and come here and had your own stuff you were working through. It’s kind of hard to go somewhere and be in charge of a huge group of people who don’t have that education level.”