Brothers and former Marines enjoy new ‘tour of duty’ as Newman students

Patrick and Joseph Gallagher / Nick Veith

Patrick, left, and Joseph Gallagher

Some brothers do a lot of things together. Then there are the Gallaghers.

“Brothers in blood, brothers in arms,” is how Joseph and Patrick Gallagher describe their relationship. That’s because they grew up together in Wichita and then served their country together, each completing two tours of duty in Wichita in the Marine Corps. They were even stationed together for a short time upon returning home.

Now, they study together, with Joe pursuing a degree in radiologic technology and Patrick working on a degree in communication at Newman University.

During their service, Joe was a combat engineer, while Patrick did logistics and combat cargo. They described their time in the Marines as “the proudest time of our lives.” When they arrived home from Iraq, the Gallaghers decided to further their education. After looking at several local schools, two factors helped weigh their decision in Newman’s favor. The first factor was simple.

“We are Catholic,” Joe said. “We come from a Catholic background, and were taught from an early age to keep the faith and loyalty to family.”

The second factor was the Yellow Ribbon program, a Department of Veterans Affairs program Newman participates in that helps veterans and their families attend a private college at little or no cost.

“It certainly sealed the deal,” Patrick said, with Joe adding that it helped “a great deal. We are both very grateful for the opportunity to attend NU.”

Recently, Newman adopted a financial aid calculator for veterans designed to ease the process of determining the level of aid service men and women can receive. The combination of the Yellow Ribbon program and the military financial aid calculator has had a positive effect on students like the Gallaghers.

“We did not find [the process of applying for aid as a veteran] to be complicated,” Joe said. “The NU Registrar’s Office made it very smooth.”

Having made the transition from Marine life to student life, both said they’ve enjoyed their experience at Newman so far.

“We love it. Classes are great,” Joe said. Both he and Patrick listed their favorite aspects of Newman as the “small class sizes,” “excellent professors,” and “great people.”

Now that the Gallaghers have grown up together, served in the Marines together, and today go to school together, they have a goal for the future that resonates with the mission of the university they decided to attend.

“Hopefully, some day we can give back to our community,” Patrick said.

They also have some advice for other veterans about pursuing higher education.

“Take advantage of your earned benefits, continue serving by honoring those who gave everything, live the freedom of higher education,” Joe said. “Go Jets!”


Tags: , , , , , , , ,