‘Always Ready, Always There’

BGSU's Keylin Freeman of the National Guard is ready to help veterans

By Amber Stark ’99

The National Guard motto is “Always Ready, Always There.” Bowling Green State University student Keylin Freeman said the same could be said about the University’s Office of Nontraditional and Military Student Services.

As a student employee in the office, Freeman, who is also a member of the National Guard, stands ready to help other veterans navigate college.

“It is fulfilling, giving other veterans guidance so they don’t struggle [with the transition] like I did,” the Columbus native said. “Our office is here and we want to help you.”

Freeman started at BGSU in the fall of 2012, but took the 2013-14 academic year off to join the National Guard, a decision he made because of the financial support the Guard offered.

“It’s also good to give back to the community,” he said. “And it opens up other opportunities.

“I didn’t think it was for me, but my parents were adamant; they knew I could do it. I took a leap of faith and I’m glad I did.”

Freeman returned to BGSU for the 2014-15 academic year. He said he had a little trouble re-adjusting to college due to the strict routine he experienced in the Guard. It was also at this time he changed his major from computer science to electronics and computer engineering technology.

“Because of having gone through grade issues and finance issues, I can see similar patterns in other veteran students,” he said. “Now I am a resource. I can help other veterans with their schedules, finances and keeping up with school work.”

Freeman is a medic in the Guard. He drills one weekend a month and attends annual training for two weeks in the summer. His six-year commitment is up in June 2019. He hasn’t decided if he will re-enlist because he may want to move somewhere warmer.

Freeman is slated to graduate in the fall of 2018 and is interested in finding a position as an electronics engineer in a manufacturing setting.

“I love BGSU,” he said. “I had the traditional first-year experience as a freshman in Centennial Hall and now have experience as a nontraditional military student. I feel like there’s a place for everyone.”

A member of Sigmu Nu, Freeman also served as a tour guide and was a member of the Falcon Marching Band.

“I wanted to come back here because I like Bowling Green so much,” he said. “My experience has been nothing but thrilling so far.”