I want to work in the field of forensic science: CSI, FBI or a state lab. The chemical units in the Korean military are essentially military CSI, so I chose to be stationed there.

Gyeol Yoon

Congratulations on your graduation, Gyeol!

"It's hard for me to answer the question of where I am from. I was born in Iowa. When I was 5, I moved to New York for three years. After that I moved to South Korea, where my parents are from, before returning to New York for high school. I came to Bucknell, and following my sophomore year I served in the Korean military for two years. Now I am back, and I will graduate in 2014. Needless to say, I have moved around a lot.

"It was an extremely hard decision to leave Bucknell and serve in Korea. All South Korean males are required to serve in the military, but because I have American citizenship, I was able to choose. By serving, I gained my Korean citizenship and improved myself by becoming more disciplined. Serving even made some sense for my career. I want to work in the field of forensic science: CSI, FBI or a state lab. The chemical units in the Korean military are essentially military CSI, so I chose to be stationed there. Even more than the intense physical training, it was very hard to get adjusted to the military system after two years in college. Your life is completely regimented – totally dependent on what the commanders are ordering to you.

"I was very excited but very anxious to return to Bucknell. I had to meet new people, reintegrate myself into the culture and pick up with my studies. But it's interesting, because I have found in my time back that I am more focused and disciplined. Whenever I encounter difficult situations or decisions, I think back to my time in the military and I remind myself that I can do this no matter what."

Posted Nov. 16, 2012
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