By Melanie Binversie
Editor’s Note: From time to time in this space, we want to share stories from our alumni as they relay their experiences with APUS and how they have impacted their careers and personal lives. This week, we feature the story of AMU Emergency and Disaster Management student and military spouse Melanie Binversie. We encourage you to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your own APUS journey with us as well.
New places, faces, streets, neighbors, houses, new schools for your kids and for you. I like to think I am pretty unique, but the truth is, I am a lot like every other military spouse. We have moved seven times in eight years. The challenges that we face as a military family extend further than just having to get new curtains each time you move and having a stack of them taller in your linen closet, none of which work for your current house!
I met my husband, an active-duty Marine, eight years ago. We then began a roller coaster of a journey where we moved, to move, only to move again. I was enrolled in a community college, taking prerequisites for the nursing program. We moved soon after meeting and I started at another community college. Many of my credits were not accepted as prerequisites for the new nursing program. I continued to take more classes. We moved again. And yet again, many of my credits I earned previously were not accepted by the new college’s nursing program. In addition to this problem, there was also a waiting list a mile long for the nursing program. I left the school’s counseling office discouraged, but not defeated.
I started asking around about continuing my education online, knowing that I was about to have a baby, my husband was about to deploy, and who knows when we would move again. I was immediately impressed with American Military University’s online presence and reputation and quickly started setting up my financial aid and transfer credit evaluation. It truly was a seamless process and with that, I became an AMU Golden Eagle.
The transition was easy for me. I chose the Emergency and Disaster Management B.A. program, as I was a firefighter and emergency medical technician prior to meeting my husband. Nearly every one of my credits was transferred as well as credits for my firefighting certification and other public servant classes I had completed. Now it is my graduation eve and I am incredibly impressed with the accessibility to the school programs, the flexibility of scheduling, and the understanding of the faculty when life happens in a way that isn’t planned.
As a military wife, I have worn many hats – student, mom, wife, PTO social media coordinator, family readiness assistant, United Way volunteer, community emergency response team, AMU ambassador, and owner of Stars and Stripes Doulas. Soon, I will be able to add a graduation cap to my many hats. The determination and ambition required to finish a degree while wearing these many hats has been intense, but I’m proud that my hard work and perseverance have resulted in this incredible achievement. While I may never use my degree to work in emergency and disaster management, it has taught me many valuable life lessons. Today, while running my own business and being a student, I am thankful that AMU allows me and many other spouses to better ourselves while still living life as it happens. I am the face of the military spouse and a proud AMU student!