Public Relations and Marketing Communications
CLARKSTON, GA—Richard Guan was a freshman at Duluth High School when New York’s World Trade Center was hit by terrorists.
Even though he was too young to serve, it was a pivotal moment that cemented his desire to serve his country, Guan said.
Now a veteran of the U.S. Army and a Georgia State University Perimeter College student, Guan is one of more than 2,800 military-connected students who are served by Georgia State’s six Military Outreach Centers and online every semester.
As part of Georgia State University’s recognition of Veterans Day Nov. 11, Guan is counted among those veterans being honored during special Veterans Recognition ceremonies Tuesday, Nov. 9 on the Clarkston Campus and Wednesday, Nov. 10 on the Georgia State University Atlanta Campus.
Guan sees the terrorist attack as the catalyst to serve his country.
“I always knew I wanted to serve my country,” he said. ‘I grew up after 9/11, and I would always hear the news of the war in the background during those years in high school. I know it sounds cliché, but I felt I wanted to do more and be part of something bigger than myself. I wanted to broaden my horizons.”
He joined the Army in 2015, and was eventually stationed at Fort Hood, Texas.
Guan served with distinction in the U.S. Army as an IT specialist. Over the course of his six-year career, he also worked in South Korea and Germany, before enrolling at Perimeter College this fall.
Now 34, Guan is studying computer science on the Clarkston Campus. As a veteran, Guan was contacted by John Douglas, the Military Outreach coordinator.
“He reached out to me to make sure I was taking advantage of my VA benefits. Now I go to the MOC on Clarkston to relax between classes,” Guan said.
Mark Eister, director of Georgia State University’s Military Outreach program is happy to ease the transition of veterans like Guan to college life.
“Each day, it is the goal of all Military Outreach Center staff to provide the best service and support we possibly can for our military-connected students,” said Eister. “We want to do all we can to help make our student veterans’ academic journey both enjoyable and rewarding. There will be times when all students need assistance and support, and it is our pleasure to do our absolute best in providing whatever our great veterans need to succeed.”
Georgia State University has been ranked as one of the top military and veteran-friendly institutions in the nation for the past 10 years.