The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Iraq Vet gets chance to thank Governor

Posted at 12:15 am 2/2/10

Sophomore veteran David Jeske was recognized by Gov. Jim Doyle during the State of the State Address last Tuesday. During his speech, Doyle thanked Jeske, a finance major, for his services to the country.

“I definitely won’t forget when the governor introduced me,” Jeske said. “It got me a little choked up, I must admit, because it’s just so overwhelming. ”

Jeske, who completed three tours of duty in Iraq with the U.S. Marine Corps, was nominated for recognition during the address because of the full advantage he has taken of the benefits offered to returning veterans in the state.

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“(Jeske is) really worthy of being singled out by the governor as a representative of our student body who’s taking rightful advantage of the Wisconsin GI Bill,” said Marc Goulet, associate dean in the Dean of Students Office. “. He’s active and he’s a strong advocate.”

When he heard of his nomination, Jeske accepted the invitation in a heartbeat, he said.

“I never dreamed I’d get Governor Doyle face to face and thank him personally because I’ve always wanted to do something like that, to express my gratitude toward them.”

Jeske used the opportunity to thank Doyle and every senator and assemblyman that he talked to for the benefits he has been taking advantage of. Specifically, he said, he thanked them for the GI Bill, which allows people that wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it to go to school, the Department of Workforce Development, which works with veterans to create resumes that will help them find jobs, and the health benefits offered to returning veterans.

“I thanked them for it because without their part . we’d have it kind of rough,” he said. “I think it’d be very difficult for a lot of us.”

As Veterans Club President, member of the Veterans Advisory Board, secretary of the Financial Management Association and an assistant of the Investment Advisory Board, Jeske is incredibly involved around campus. It’s his way, he said, of “giving back.”

“I’ve been extremely, extremely, extraordinarily lucky,” he said, “to be able to do some of the things that I’m able to do – to get an education like this and to be around fantastic people who are knowledgeable in their field. It’s an honor, it’s great to do, and I’m making the most of it.”

He learned from his parents at a young age to use the skills he had to benefit society. “I’m grateful to have parents that have taught me a lot about character, about hard work, and . dedication to a cause,” he said. “. I learned that when I was really young, and I’ve carried it until now.”

Jeske has been a tremendous influence in the Veterans Center, which opened just last semester, Goulet said.

“David has been a genuine student leader in helping shape the Veterans Center,” he said. “The Veterans Center is . intended to be a place for students to gather, to learn about resources, but also learn from each other and provide some support and camaraderie. . and David really has an understanding of that.”

While the many organizations he’s involved with can be difficult to juggle at times, Jeske said, “It’s all about time management.” That’s something he learned a lot about in Iraq, and he has applied it to his schooling here at UW-Eau Claire.

Overall, Jeske is grateful for all the opportunities he’s had and feels “incredibly honored” to be recognized as he has.

“I just never dreamed of something happening like that, you know?” he said. “. You never think it’s ever going to be you. . It’s really overwhelming. It chokes me up when I start thinking about it at times, but it was all worth it. It was definitely all worth it.”

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Iraq Vet gets chance to thank Governor