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Campus & Community

“Terp Vets Gave Me a Home”

Former Military Members Share Journeys From Service to Student Life

By Maryland Today Staff

A woman holding a pen writing on a notepad and a man wearing a Terp Vets t-shirt

Military veterans Natacia Wright ’22 (left) and Mitchell Zangwill ’21 are among the 1,600 students at the University of Maryland who have served or are currently serving. They share their stories about the challenging transition to civilian and campus life.

Composite image by Stephanie R. Cordle; Videos by Eric Kruszewski

For University of Maryland students who answered the call to military service, the Terp Vets organization provides an essential community during the challenging transition to civilian and college life.

“You go from the military, belonging to something bigger than yourself, and then you’re on your own and there’s no sense of belonging,” said Mitchell Zangwill ’21, who served as an aircraft structural maintainer in the U.S. Air Force. “Terp Vets gave me a home.”

The student-run organization, which connects veterans on and off campus through volunteer and social events, is just one of the many ways that UMD supports the approximately 1,600 enrolled Terps who have served or are currently serving.

On this Veterans Day, the Memorial Chapel will host the “Honor & Remember” service and lunch, which starts at noon and will feature talks by veterans, performances by the Mighty Sound of Maryland and Femmes de Chanson, multifaith reflections and an ROTC vigil. Other Veterans Week events included a reception at the home football game against Penn State on Nov. 6, as well as upcoming axe throwing, networking and a campus ruck march.

In the videos below, Zangwill and Natacia Wright ’22, a former communications specialist for the U.S. Army military police, share their stories.

Maryland Today is produced by the Office of Strategic Communications for the University of Maryland community weekdays during the academic year, except for university holidays.