Mathew Goecks isn’t just a student at Pierce College but also a U.S. Army veteran. He served the country from October 2001 to August 2012.
The time he spent in the military has helped make furthering his education a possibility.
During Goecks’s time in the military he was injured. Goecks tore his anterior cruciate ligament in 2002 and received surgery for it in 2004. Goecks was wounded again in 2008.
He tore his ACL again, but this time it was damaged and stretched to the point that his knee would slide in and out of place. As a result, he has to wear a brace every day.
If Goecks had the choice to do it all over again, he said he would do so without hesitation.
“Yes, the positives far outweigh the negatives,” Goecks said.
Goecks went to Iraq three times during his years in the military. He was first deployed in January 2001 and said he was fearful and anxious about it.
The next two times after that, Goecks was less worried and found his experiences to be interesting.
In 2005, he worked as security for voting booths. During this time, he learned how the voting processes worked in Iraq, which he found to be fascinating.
In September 2007, he patrolled the victory complex base, also located in Iraq.
Overall, he said the military experience benefitted him in ways that taught him discipline, goal setting and focus.
Ryan Mitchell is a student at Pierce College and works at the Pierce Registration office. He served in the U.S. military from 1999 to 2009. He chose to enlist in the military because it was something he wanted to do since he was a child.
“I grew up in a time of GI Joes and Top Gun, and it was kind of just something that I always wanted to do,” Mitchell said.
During Mitchell’s time in the military, he was deployed to Iraq from 2004 to 2005 and then again in 2007 to 2008.
Mitchell said serving his country was a rewarding experience and, after it was done, one of his happiest memories from his enlistment was the everlasting friendships he built.
“(They were) more like brothers,” Mitchell said.
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