Student-Veteran Spotlight: Nela Swindale

Student-Veteran Spotlight: Nela J. Swindale

Major: Accountancy
Hometown: Albany, IL
Class year: Freshman
Military status: Retired
Veterans Resource Center Representative, Quad Cities Complex 2414

woman in black blazer

Nela J. Swindale

Nela’s Story

I am a Retired Staff Sergeant from the US Army. During my time in the service, which began June 1998, I was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, and twice at Osan Air Base, South Korea. I had been deployed to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain. My job was Patriot Missile Launcher Operator and Maintainer. I had the responsibility of taking care of specialized military equipment worth in excess of $1 million.

How Military Service Shaped Her

My time in the military allowed me to see the world and open me up to unique cultures and experiences. I feel that the military shaped me in the person I am today by giving discipline to a young raw teenager and guiding me to be driven and passionate about everything that I do. The experience of being part of the military continues to influence me by knowing that anything that can be accomplished through determination, dedication, and occasional team work.

On Veterans Day, I find myself remembering, first, why I decided to join. Both of my grandfathers served (one during Vietnam War, and one in the Korean Conflict). I remember all the different people I had the honor and privilege to work with side by side. And I send out best wishes to those who are currently serving (especially those who are deployed).

My time in the military allowed me to see the world and open me up to unique cultures and experiences. I feel that the military shaped me in the person I am today by giving discipline to a young raw teenager and guiding me to be driven and passionate about everything that I do.

Life Today 

I like that the WIU-QC campus is small, class sizes are small, and that it fits more into my current lifestyle. As a wife and mother, it offers quality education, with friendly staff and professors that focus on the needs of the student, both academically and personally. WIU-offers to opportunity to succeed while still being able to be who you need to be.


To utilize the WIU-QC Veterans Resource Center,  contact Nela at NJ-Swindale@wiu.edu, or Curtis Williams at (309)762-3999 Ext. 62236.

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