After leaving the Army, Joseph Kalinski knew the path ahead was clear: he wanted to join the health care field and make a difference in the lives of others.
But more than that, he said, he wanted to help positively impact the lives of other veterans like himself.
Joseph works closely with an organization called Hometown Battles to help raise awareness and fight the stigma surrounding PTSD in veterans.
"Even though I got out [of the Army] last December, there is no way I could turn my back on my brother and sisters," said Joseph. "I know by donating the money our group raises, Hometown Battles directly helps struggling veterans. Not only do they raise awareness, they also are one of the few organizations that help veterans on an individual level."
Joseph's first event, Ruck 22, was organized to reflect and raise awareness around the 22 veteran suicides that happen every day. The event, he said, was a bigger success than they could have imagined and are excited to bring it to an even bigger platform in the coming years.
In the future, Joseph hopes to continue impacting veterans through the medical field. CMU has been there every step of the way as he has embarked on this journey, he said.
"When I was in the Army I saw how far CMU was willing to go for service members stateside and abroad," said Joseph. "CMU helped me transition from the military to a college life and eventually, a professional career."
Though he says his journey does not mirror the typical college student, he and his family have found a welcoming community at CMU.
"I don't relate to most people coming here, but the universal selling point is the inclusion that CMU offers to so many different kinds of people."