JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - Students are back on campus at ETSU, some for the first time and others finishing out their last year.
We met one student who is balancing school, training, and the everyday busIness of being a college student.
Parking lots and sidewalks are filled with students and teachers, and that means school is back in session at ETSU.
For Parker Moore, he says this year is a big one. "It's my senior year, so I'm super excited that it's the last year then going on to bigger and better things," he said.
Parker is not your typical student. He's in the Army Reserve and is a part of the university's ROTC program. "I can continue to serve while going to school. It's kind of the best of both worlds, both getting benefits while still serving my country here at home," he said.
Parker told us he went through a year of training on active duty. He then decided to go into the reserves and go back to school. "One of the reasons why is because of the veterans department and the GI Bill paying for school here at ETSU."
The GI Bill is for anyone who has served active duty in the military. Parker said he decided to go back to school and get a degree in international affairs, but Lieutenant Colonel Glen Howie says they have financial help for others who decide to be a part of the ROTC program. "Scholarships we have soldiers that have prior service in the military so they have GI Bill benefits. The university is great at assisting us with housing scholarships and room and board scholarships."
Parker says being a part of the ROTC is making him a better person and he's excited to graduate. After that, his future is filled with possibilities. "I'm not 100 percent sure where I'm going, but hopefully hear soon in September or October. The big Army will tell me where I'm going and we'll find out from there," he said.
Lt. Colonel Glen Howie says this is the highest level of participation in the ROTC program at ETSU in more than 25 years.