By Robert Fenbers
Western Campus Editor
John Gallagher, Associate of Science
John Gallagher graduated James Ford Rhodes High School in 2009, but it was the decision he made his junior year that would not only change his life, but become his greatest accomplishment thus far. After a grueling six years in the military that tested his mental, physical and spiritual health, he now looks for a new beginning as he finds his way to Tri-C.
Following in his Grandfather’s footsteps, Gallagher decided to join the United States Army. “I am a very strong leader so I thought that it was a natural fit for me,” Gallagher said. His decision also added to the long line of family members who had already served. He was sworn in on the first day of his senior year.
Upon his arrival to the military he underwent many challenges ranging from basic training to a deployment in Afghanistan. During his six years in the military he faced scrutiny for his Catholic beliefs and was challenged physically and mentally in training and on missions. He found times especially tough when he questioned his faith and had few support besides his friends and family back home. Still he persevered and understood his worth.
“All the experiences have made me comfortable being who I want to be,” Gallagher said.
As he began to work his way up the ranks of The United States Army, he ultimately reached E4 Specialist and worked on military aircrafts. He became more focused and determined in his goals. He took up hobbies like ballroom dancing and bodybuilding, a rare mix.
Having always maintained a 3.0, even with deployment, education has always been important to Gallagher, who was excited to learn that all his classes and tuition would be paid for by the military. While in service, he attended numerous military schools and a few Community Colleges, including Fayetteville Community College in North Carolina where he earned his Associates degree.
After his six years of service he decided to move on with the next chapter in his journey. He was honorably discharged earlier this year and enrolled for summer semester at Cuyahoga Community College’s Western Campus. He again was following in his family’s footsteps as his father graduated Tri-C in 2012.
He admits he was a little nervous the first day. “I was a little curious to see how things were. This wasn’t going to be like a military town.” After a few weeks of classes he has gotten accustomed to the simple offerings of the college. He was especially fond of the closeness in proximity each building is to each other at Western Campus. “Its very user friendly.”
Though he is just getting used to Tri-C, he also has been accepted to The Ohio State University, where he will attend classes in the fall.
As he continues his adjustment into “civilian life”, he hopes Tri-C will be the transition that helps him continue on the right path.