MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — There’s a program on the campus of Maryville College that is helping our country’s veterans reacclimate to life in the classroom.

“This program has been absolutely vital for my success,” Army veteran Bryan Rozanski said.

“The goal here is to be able to be prepared once we do leave here,” Marine veteran Albert Johnson said.

Maryville College’s Military Recruiting and Outreach Program is headed up by 15-year Navy veteran Dave Daniels.

“My job is to build connections with veterans,” he said.

Daniels, a 2020 graduate himself of Maryville College, is a product of the very program he now oversees. That insight gives him a greater appreciation for what it is designed to do.

“No two veterans are alike. We’re like snowflakes, but we all come with baggage,” Daniels tells WATE. “My job here is to let you know that your baggage; you can handle.”

An approach not lost on veterans currently enrolled in the college and part of the program.

“Really with Dave being up here, he’s really kind of helped me reincorporate some of those skills I learned in the military into the college setting,” Rozanski said.

“Historically, we have higher GPA’s than nontraditional students at large,” Daniels said. “It’s because we’re driven in a different kind of way. I talk them through navigating (the Department of Veterans Affairs), which is a task in itself, the transition from Military to civilian life and I offer them the support that they need to be successful students while they’re here.”

It’s that approach, along with building an atmosphere of family, that Daniels uses to keep veterans moving forward and something Maryville College Senior Albert Johnson can appreciate.

“Having the space with people that you can connect with and say, ‘Hey, I’m struggling with this,’ and nine times out of ten someone has already gone through it here,” Johnson said.

Rozanski, a junior at MC, agrees.

“Just being around veterans is, always for me at least, very uplifting. People who’ve either been through what I’ve been through or have similar experiences that we can talk about.”

It is that line of communication between veterans, leaders, and the college that in the end keeps these students on track.

“It’s a process,” Daniels said, “I’m here to make it as smooth as possible.”

If you would like more information on the program visit Maryville College’s website.