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Veteran will address fellow RCC grads June 16

Luke WrightIn 2004 Luke Wright worked on relief efforts following the devastating Indonesian tsunami. Serving on a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, Wright helped deliver medicine and water into isolated areas. “That event inspired me to help others and had a huge impact on my life,” Wright said.

One of two student commencement speakers at the Rogue Community College commencement June 16, he plans to reflect on that life-changing experience in his speech and how it inspired him to change professions from electronics to psychology.

“Being part of a humanitarian effort propelled me to want to help other people overcome difficulties and disasters,” he explained. “I will tell graduates that you don’t have to travel that far to see destruction and suffering. Education can help you make sense of it and provide tools to repair and improve upon the situation. RCC is a springboard into the future,” he added.

Wright graduated from Grants Pass High School in 1999 and served in the Navy for seven years aboard submarines and aircraft carriers, working in electronics and navigation. After leaving the Navy he was a technician for a Utah semiconductor firm before returning to Grants Pass to help his family deal with health-related issues.

“I decided it was a good time to put the GI Bill to use and come to RCC,” he said. He has earned an Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer degree and compiled a 3.9 GPA. Wright plans to transfer to the University of Oregon’s psychology program and eventually attend graduate school. Partially disabled from a service-related accident, he plans to work for the Veteran’s Administration helping fellow vets. “I want to give something back,” he said.

RCC has helped Wright transition more successfully into civilian life, he said.

“My instructors have been really exceptional in helping me bridge the gap between the military and the academic. I’ve written papers on returning vets, and I’ve gained communication skills, but I’m also passing along ideas on how to help returning vets.

“The interest they’ve taken has made me feel comfortable in this environment,” Wright noted. “My time at RCC has been really good.”

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