By Jasmine Conyer
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Living the dream is what current student Lynette Hebron calls pursuing her degree at Camden County College. From once being a veteran to a mother and hard worker, Hebron has had her fair share of adjusting to the school life this semester.
“I just wanted to do something different with my life, something that I could look forward to doing,” she said. From Mays Landing, N.J., Hebron grew up in a big family consisting of five brothers and four sisters. Not knowing exactly what she wanted to do with her life during high school, she looked to her eldest brother for inspiration. After graduation, Hebron enlisted in the Navy.
“I was the black sheep of the girls because I was in the middle so I hung with my brothers,” she said.
From a family of men who served in national defense branches, grandfather, father and brother, Hebron was the first female in her family to serve in a branch of defense. “I did two out of my four years because I ran into some personal troubles but I don’t regret any of it,” she said. Staying connected in some type of way when she returned home, she remained in the reserves.
Now 52, Hebron is enrolled as a full-time student. Majoring in addiction counseling, she was a little hesitant about returning to school after so many years of Navy influences and working.
“They were once on a regiment as far as being told what time to eat, sleep and get up. As far as older veterans, they may have a little more of a struggle because they may be apprehensive in returning to school versus the younger vets,” said Zaida Nogue, veterans adviser of the Blackwood campus.
Although Hebron kept busy by working and being a mother, she knew something new and incomplete was missing that would not only help herself but others as well. “Honestly it wasn’t hard for me to decide to come to school. The hardest part so far is learning the new style of teaching. This stuff is completely different,” she said.
Striving for success is the next step in Hebron’s plans. “I know what it is like as an older veteran and person in general to struggle. I am involved with the VA hospital in Philadelphia so I see different types of people and by listening to their hardships I hope to be somewhat of an inspiration,” she said. “I am blessed.”