Nathan Gauss, an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran who earned an MPA from Northern in 2015 en route to a post-military career, is the subject of a Veterans Spotlight in the News-Times in York, Neb. The Ann Arbor native now works for the Department of Veterans Affairs, where both his mother and stepfather were previously employed.
Gauss first enrolled in college after high school to pursue a history degree. He realized after a few years it wasn't a good fit for him, so he decided to enlist instead.
He was deployed to Iraq in 2009, and later to Afghanistan. While serving in the latter's rural Khost Province, Gauss completed an undergraduate degree online to help pass the time, then earned an MPA from Northern and a master's in medical informatics from Michigan Tech.
“When I was getting out, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do,” Gauss said in the article. “And I liked the VA, not only because my parents had history there, but also it would be meaningful to me, which it really is. It feels like a home.”
He worked for the VA in Michigan for four years, then in Omaha for two years, before moving to York, closer to his wife's family. He continues to serve as a business analyst for the national VA, working from home.
“I really enjoyed being a soldier,” he concluded. “I would have happily done it until I retired, but I was watching my friends raise their kids through Facetime in Afghanistan and I thought, ‘I can't do that.' I was getting to the age where I wanted to start a family.”
Read the full feature on Gauss here.