Taking that Leap
Harrison Foust, United States Marine Corps
Since I have been out of the service and have been attending Cape Fear Community College, I have had an excellent experience involving my transition. Before I got out of the Marine Corps, I was torn at a crossroads of what I wanted to do in life. As much as I love the Marine Corps, I wasn’t so sure that I wanted to live that lifestyle for twenty-plus years, and the thought of college seemed to be something that would be impossible for me to achieve.
Thinking of my high school days and how difficult “hitting the books” was for me, I was terrified at the crossroads of “do I reenlist or go to college.” I took a leap of faith after seeking advice and opinions from senior Marines who got out and went to college. I decided to come to Cape Fear Community College for several reasons. A few of those reasons are I love the beach, Wilmington isn’t too far from my hometown where I can still go home conveniently, Wilmington is also close to Camp Lejeune so I can keep in touch with my brothers in arms, and Cape Fear Community College is an excellent place to start college–considering I feel starting off at a university would be biting off more than I can chew (great way to get my feet wet).
Since taking that leap into this new chapter of life, I have loved Cape Fear Community College and the Veteran Center that I take great pride in being a part of, as well as helping it grow and expand. I remember the Veteran Center being a place that not a lot of veterans came to or even knew about. Starting college as a student and a veteran mentor, there were days in the beginning when I would only see a few veterans throughout the day. After the hard work and ideas of our veteran director Ray Charfauros and the task carried out from the veteran mentors, the Veteran Center started booming with veterans out of nowhere. The Veteran Center has made college life and transitioning a wonderful place to connect with other veterans, study and decompress when needed. Although life has had its ups and downs along the way in this new chapter and I have learned numerous lessons from my successes and failures, I can’t thank Cape Fear Community College enough for helping me make it this far from the help and support of Ray’s mentorship and friends made in the Veteran Center.
With the help and support of our veteran director and the awesome friends made within the Veteran Center, I have had an awesome transition from a Marine to a college student.
Born and raised in Asheboro, NC, Harrison spent four years at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC, as a 0311 rifleman with 3rd Battalion 6th Marines Lima Company. He was deployed December 14, 2014 – July 15, 2015 with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the LHD Iwo Jima and the USS New York. While on deployment, he was selected to be a part of the Maritime Raid Force platoon and was attached to 2nd Recon as their security element.
Harrison says, “I joined the Marine Corps to learn discipline and to find direction in life. The Marine Corps gave me every bit and more of what I was looking for. I am forever grateful for the Marine Corps and cherish every memory and friendship that was made in my time of service.” He currently attends Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, NC, and works as a Veteran Mentor in the Veteran Center on campus.