On this Veterans Day, we talk with Michael Elliott, a former U.S. Marine and Army Reservist who served in Japan and Afghanistan. Elliott is a junior in the mechanical engineering technology program at UNH Manchester.
Michael Elliott likes to be helpful so when he was deployed in Afghanistan as an Army Reservist, it was tough for him to hang back while his comrades went out on patrol. A hearing limitation prevented him from leaving the base.
“That was tough,” he says. “I was there to help.”
But Elliott did help. At the base, he made sure the supplies were stocked, and he was responsible for the armory, making sure all the weapons were maintained.
Veterans Day at UNH
That was his first tour in the Middle East, but not his first trip abroad with the U.S. Armed Forces. Elliott joined the Marine Corps after graduating from Manchester Central High School and was stationed with a training platoon in Japan for three years, where he helped train new marines.
His military experience led to his interest in prosthetics. Elliott knows people who have needed them and has witnessed their struggles. “I really want to design better and newer prosthetics,” he says.
When he returned home from Afghanistan, he signed up for the dual enrollment program between NHTI and UNH Manchester’s MET program, spending his first two years at NHTI. Now he’s almost through his first semester at UNH Manchester, and he’s gaining a lot of experience. This semester, he’s working with a group of classmates on a hands-on prosthetic improvements project.
He’s also honing his American Sign Language skills in Manchester’s acclaimed program. He’s even set out to obtain a minor in ASL and Deaf Studies.
“UNH has really impacted me,” Elliott says. “It has brought out the most that I can be.”
In addition to his studies, Elliott is an orientation leader and transfer student mentor at UNH Manchester and is active with the Student Veterans Advocacy Team.
Originally published in the UNH Manchester Student Perspectives blog
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