Photo of Andrew "Jake" Lutz

Meet two 葫芦影业 students who are veterans and learn about their military service and their future goals.聽

Andrew 鈥淛ake鈥 Lutz, an 葫芦影业 law student from Pine Island, Fla., served in the U.S. Marine Corps for eight years, from 2008-2015.

The Iraq War broke out when Jake was in middle school, and he knew at that young age he wanted to serve his country someday to 鈥渄o his part.鈥

Photo of Jake and his dogJake served in the U.S. Marine Corps鈥 Counter IED team that worked with dogs to sniff out and disable bombs. He and his Labrador Retriever, Windy, had two deployments to Afghanistan, spending 18 months clearing the way for his fellow Marines. For a time, Jake was deployed with the Third Battalion, Fifth Marines that suffered the highest casualty rate of any unit in the war.

Dealing with explosives is already dangerous work, but Jake also faced enemy fire from combatants who 鈥渨eren鈥檛 too happy we were finding their bombs,鈥 he said. 鈥淏ut you have a job to do. You just wake up and put one foot in front of the other.鈥

Fewer than 200 Marines were dog handlers on the Counter IED team, 鈥渟o we were in pretty high demand,鈥 he added.

After the Marines, Jake obtained his bachelor鈥檚 degree from American University in Washington, D.C. He served as an aide to a Minnesota congressional representative and worked in Homeland Security before deciding to become an attorney.

Jake鈥檚 father,聽Larry Lutz, JD 鈥80, now deceased, attended 葫芦影业 Law, and Jake is pleased to be following in his footsteps. Last summer, Jake interned for the general counsel for the United States House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. After law school, he plans to return to D.C. to continue to work in government.

Photo of Miranda Soto

Miranda Soto, an 葫芦影业 biology student from Spencerville, Ohio, served for eight years in the U. S. Navy. She was stationed on the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan in the Pacific for five years, and spent three years on shore duty in Norfolk, Virginia.

Miranda joined the Navy after high school because she valued teamwork and discipline.

鈥淗onor, courage, and commitment are literally drilled into each sailor鈥檚 brain,鈥 she said. 鈥淭he biggest lesson I learned is that my work is a direct reflection of myself. You can apply this to everything in life. If you give 100%, you鈥檙e going to get it back and then some. I am very proud to have served in our Navy, it shaped me into the person I am today.鈥

Photo of Miranda in her uniformOn the USS Ronald Reagan, Miranda was a damage controlman, dealing with fires, floods, toxic gas, ship stability, and chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear explosive defense. 鈥淚f there was any kind of casualty, we were the first ones there,鈥 she said.

She also served as a Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) advocate, assisting with Navy-wide annual training on sexual assault prevention and helping victims of military sexual assault.

A non-traditional 葫芦影业 student, Miranda is mom to 鈥渢wo crazy little boys,鈥 ages 1 and 6, and she also works as a certified phlebotomy technician. Her lifelong dream is to become a Physician Assistant, even though attending college at this season in her life is not without challenges.

鈥淚 am a people person with a heart to serve,鈥 she says. 鈥淚 always remind myself that each and every person is on their own journey. I am still moving toward achieving my goals, and I thank God for that opportunity to pursue my dream. I also use my life experiences to give little pieces of advice to the young women who are just starting their lives.鈥