Sgt. Zachary Peters spends a lot of hours in the library at Quinnipiac University, but a few short years ago his times was spend very differently.
“I was active duty for six years,” Peters said.
He is a veteran who is taking what he learned in the military and applying it in the classroom.
Peters was just 17 years old when he enlisted in the United States Army, and couldn’t wait for his chance to join the ranks.
“I was more thinking about my brothers and sisters in uniform with me. That was more of a push for me to be in the service at the time,” Peters said.
The Army offered several opportunities, including one way to go to college without racking up student loan debt.
“I didn't want my parents to have to pay for my schooling,” Peters said.
The 25-year-old college junior is one of 183 students at the university taking advantage of the 9/11 GI bill.
“I'm more dedicated to my school work because I realized this money that I am getting from the government -- it's supposed to benefit me, and I don't want to take advantage of that,” Peters said.
He said he continues to serve his country in the Connecticut National Guard.
On campus, Peters is the president of the Student Veterans’ Organization, which is a group that has a strong focus on serving fellow veterans.
One of their landmark annual events is called Operation Barbecue, which is a fundraiser for the Gary Sinise Foundation.
“A foundation to try to help amputee veterans to help a veteran in the area build a house,” he said.
Director of Veteran and Military Affairs at Quinnipiac University Jason Burke works closely with student veterans.
“Our military's men and women who have raised a right hand and taken an oath to serve and protect the constitution,” Burke said.
There are nearly 110 veterans and members of the military attending Quinnipiac University at this point.
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