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Marine Veteran Finds Success in ACCEL

August 2011


John Fury initially began attending a state university at 18 with the intent of running track. When the promise by his coach wasn't fulfilled, Fury began to take his studies less seriously. After dropping out early on, and attempting a community college without success, he decided to join the Marine Corps. Soon after, a neck injury led to medical discharge, requiring him to wait two years to re-enlist.

It was dedication and drive that kept him going this time, and in 2003, Fury earned the title of United States Marine and was promoted to Private First Class. Fury explored extensive training in Explosive Ordnance Disposal, the military's bomb squad. After a tour in Iraq, he enrolled in the American Military University to later graduate with honors.

In 2010, Fury reached the end of his active duty service and moved home. He applied for application to the St. Ambrose University ACCEL program. However, because of his poor academic track more than 10 years prior, he wasn't eligible for admission. Fury instead pursued the Admissions Standards Committee at ACCEL and explained his past. Despite a diagnosis of traumatic brain injury and post traumatic stress syndrome, he diligently focused on his end goal: to receive a bachelor's degree in Accounting. He made the commitment to be accomplished once again. 

Fury was admitted on a conditional basis and began meeting with a VA counselor to outline his military benefits. John was able to fully use his GI Bill and the university's Yellow Ribbon Program. He worked diligently with his advisor to choose classes which would ease him back into school, and within his first semester, his instructor was impressed. In addition to returning to school, Fury was balancing a family, community volunteering, and duties as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff. One instructor commented that, "John was all about doing the right thing. He grabs something and holds onto it until it's completed."

Fury attributes his successes to the services provided by the university to help transition military students. "Everyone at the university has made continuing my education a great experience."

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