The Story of Us
Come and meet just a few of the student veterans located at USF. These students have helped shape the veteran population and embody the USF spirit.
“Above and beyond”. It’s an adage every service member knows well. In every aspect of military life, veterans are taught not just to meet the standard, but to go “above and beyond”. Outside of military service, veterans can’t help but apply this mentality to our everyday lives and into our educational endeavors. Trillitye “Trill” Finlayson has taken this mantra to the extreme. She’s gone from a small town girl to a decorated National Guardsman an
Challenge and pride are words synonymous with veterans, and Corporal Larry Eichel is no stranger to those values. He, like many of his fellow veterans, sought out the military as a means to test his limits and set himself apart from others. Now, after separating from the military, Larry is using his military skills to continue down a new life path: a Marine Biology student looking to answer the most pivotal questions of human life.
Every student at the University of South Florida is motivated to complete their degree and better their lives through higher education. But a student like Charles Koczan stands out because of where he’s been and where he wants to go. The path hasn’t been easy, but you won’t find Koczan complaining.
He blends in like many other individuals on campus at the University of South Florida, but like most veterans, Andrew Orbeck has experienced life in a unique way. Scarcely three years before college, Orbeck was part of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal team on his second deployment to Afghanistan – a job that is categorized as one of the most dangerous in the military.
“Do what makes you happy. Anyone can die at any minute because life is so fragile.” This is the main life lesson that 8404 Fleet Marine Corpsman, Evan Evans, has carried with him due to his experiences throughout his Navy career as a medic. Joining the military at 19 has left him with countless eye-opening situations that have shaped him and has lead him to his passion.