Most mornings, Andrew Schloe wakes up before sunrise to partake in intense training as a cadet in Mason’s Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.
A freshman majoring in conflict analysis and resolution, Schloe is musically involved and an active member of Young Life at Mason. Schloe made an important decision when deciding which university to attend — one that was not received well by his loved ones. He enlisted in the United States National Guard and joined the ROTC program at Mason.
“My mom flipped out. My grandma wouldn’t even talk to me,” Schloe said.
While those serving our country are known to face hardships, such as losing loved ones or suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, sharing the choice to join the military can pose an additional tough situation. Schloe said his grandmother is still against his commitment to the National Guard, but his parents finally came to understand his goals after he repeatedly reminded them that it was his life. Schloe also said his girlfriend, while supportive of him, sometimes struggles with not being able to talk to him very much.
“Some say I’m crazy; I’m in school and I should just worry about school,” Schloe said. “But most understand where I’m coming from, and say it’s great.”
Schloe has different limitations and hardships that come with such a responsibility, most notably grades and time management.
“I don’t really get to enjoy college like everyone else,” Schloe said. “I have to go to bed at 10. I have to prioritize everything so I can hang out.”
Mason’s Office of Military Services supports students like Schloe, who have given time, energy and a promise to our country. Schloe appreciates and feels appreciated by the support of his peers at Mason.
“Sometimes I’m in uniform and people thank me,” Schloe said.
On Wednesday, students will have the chance to help military members like Schloe and give thanks to those serving the United States. Student Government and Kappa Sigma are hosting a fundraiser at the Mason Rathskeller from 5 to 8 p.m. which will benefit the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s Fisher House Foundation. Fifteen percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Fisher House Foundation, which builds “comfort homes” on military and medical center grounds to provide care to wounded military members.
“It’s very important to help our military families and appreciate the sacrifice and service they have given to our country,” said Nathan Dorfman, Student Government senator, writer for Broadside and a main planner of the event. “This is a small thing that students can do to say thanks.”