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Profiles of student veterans: Noel Rabina

Filed by KOSU News in Public Insight Network.
January 29, 2013

Sgt. Noel Rabina has deployed to Iraq twice with the California National Guard. (Photo shared by Sgt. Noel Rabina)

Sgt. Noel Rabina has deployed to Iraq twice with the California National Guard during his studies. (Photo shared by Sgt. Noel Rabina)

Sgt. Noel Rabina has served in the California National Guard since 2001. He’s a student at California State University, Long Beach, where he studies electrical engineering.

Rabina wrote us about the difficulties of coming back from deployment and trying to reenter civilian society.

 – Samara Freemark



“I deployed twice to Iraq as a student and I was away for three semesters each time. Each time I came back, it was hard to get back the momentum I once had.

Since I was gone for a long time, my friends had moved on with their lives, got engaged and married, graduated. I had to come back and catch up with the rest of them.

Romantic interests I had before I left had faded when I came back. We’re not trained on how to catch up with a relationship on a pause after we get back. It can be a very lonely place.

Church that I had attended before I left I no longer attend because of their lack of understanding and support. They do more harm than good to me. Church is now the place I go to to seek refuge.”

>> What’s YOUR experience with education after deployment: Help reporters cover the student veteran experience

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