Veteran spotlight

Veteran reminisces on fast pace military lifestyle


Shanice Davis, Features Editor


When new Air Force recruit Nathan Zulim stepped off the bus for basic training in San Antonio, Texas, the first thing he heard was his instructor loudly yelling orders. He was in for an interesting ride.

At the age of 18, Zulim embarked on a new journey as he ventured out to explore the unknown.

The previous military service of both his father and brother was part of Zulim’s reasoning for joining, in addition to not knowing what he wanted to do upon graduating high school.

His time in the military exposed him to things he would not have experienced had he not made the decision to join, and he made life-long friendships along the way.

In October 2009, Zulim’s journey began as he served at his first station in Kunsan, South Korea, upon which he earned the Korean Defense Medal. He also served in Lakenheath, England and Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico.

In addition, he was deployed to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan for five months, where he obtained the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one service star. Zulim dubbs his time there as the highlight of his military career.

“Everything I learned and trained for throughout my military career was finally being implemented in a real world war zone,” said Zulim.

As tomorrow is not promised, Zulim said the adage “This too shall pass” helped him get through his time in Afghanistan, while it simultaneously reassured him that the situation at that time was only temporary.

In October 2014, Zulim was honorably discharged as a Senior Airman (E-4) and is currently a sophomore here at CSUSM, majoring in Business-Global Supply Chain Management. Upon his anticipated graduation in spring 2018, he wants to get a job with either a technology or aerospace company doing logistics or supply chain work.

Even though Zulim is currently living life as a college student, he said the military influences his life as a civilian.

“I’ve learned how to quickly adapt to new environments and situations. I also learned discipline and respecting those appointed over me. I was able to conform to cultural customs during my time overseas and becoming more vigilant in everyday life,” said Zulim.

Along with the lessons learned while active duty, Zulim said the military shaped him into a better person.

“It introduced me to a physical and healthier lifestyle; it helped me be more outspoken and sociable with people. And lastly, it set me up to be better at networking and bringing me out of my comfort zone,” said Zulim.

As for his future goals, he has considered relocating in order to broaden his options for work while accommodating his love for being overseas.

“I plan on finding logistics work somewhere in Southern California, but I am also considering moving to Europe as well since I miss the lifestyle. I also plan on attending grad school once I have some work experience,” said Zulim.

Zulim wants to be able to say he’s lived his life to the fullest and has all his ducks in a row before settling down.

“My end goal is to have a nice house and a fulfilling career,” said Zulim. “Eventually, I want to get married and have kids, but this will be once I have accomplished everything I want to do for myself.”