Vet adjusts to life at Washburn

Michael Vander Linden / Washburn Review

As students and teachers pass through hallways every day, one might wonder how many different pair of shoes might walk through those halls.

However, it can be easy to be jealous of others shoes, of their lives. One can only wish they could walk a mile in that that person’s shoes.

For this story, the phrase needs to be tweaked. Instead of walking a mile in another person’s shoes, these individuals would run 10 miles in another person’s boots to help out one of their brothers.

Veterans have an unmeasured amount of determination and sense of loyalty to themselves, their fellow military men and to this beloved country.

One individual that walks the halls of Washburn University that has experienced this type of brothership is Lonnie Hajney, a junior communications major.

Joining the military was not a difficult choice for Hajney.

“I just wanted to do something good,” said Hajney.

Although his grandmother was a part of the Navy, Hajney decided to join the National Guard when he was 22 and loved it the entire time. He was able to inspire several others close to him to join the military—his cousin and brother.

After being trained, Hajney was deployed once to Egypt on a peacekeeping mission. Although it was not the frontline of battle, it still took some adjusting to the situation for him.

“It was a different culture over there,” said Hajney. “It took a little adjustment period before I could really get the hang of everything.”

However, with the influence of his peers and leadership, Hajney completed his term in love with the military and his experience.

The choosing of Washburn for Lonnie was very simple, as well. After living in Wamego and working in Topeka for some time, he decided to attend Washburn to get his degree.

“I actually had a lot of great officers that were linked to Washburn,” said Hajney. “So that helped in the decision making process, too.”

With Hajney finishing his degree within the next couple of years, it is obvious he has enough experience to undertake any job of his choosing. However, it is the influence from the military that will most strongly influence his future career.

“I was given so many leadership opportunities through lectures and speeches, etc.,” said Hajney. “That sense of management and leadership will follow through with me to any organization I get involved with.”