Student Veteran of the Month: gaining motivation, life experience
By William Triphahn
Tim Kaplan joined the U.S. Navy after feeling a need to serve the country in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
When he joined in 2006, he also saw his service as a way to gain motivation and life experience for his future.
“I learned a lot of patience, how to work under extreme circumstances and separating emotion from the task at hand, like in the medical field,” said Kaplan, a junior in biology.
Kaplan was a Navy line medical corpsman attached to Marine Corps units. He served in the 3rd Battalion 10th Marines, Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton and NATO Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit.
In March 2007 Kaplan deployed to Al Anbar province in Iraq with the Battalion 10th Marines, Kilo Company. He was involved in medical operations, convoy security and detainee operations.
In December 2009, he married his wife, Alisha, who supported him through the remainder of his Navy career and the academic career that followed.
After being a member of the medical team at Camp Pendleton, Kaplan deployed to Afghanistan in June 2011. In 2012 he was awarded Sailor of the Year by his commanders for excellence in and out of combat.
During his time in the Navy, Kaplan was awarded the Fleet Marine Force Enlisted Warfare Specialist Device, three Navy and Marine Corps achievement medals, Navy and Marine Corps combat action ribbon, Meritorious Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in 2013.
Kaplan, an active member of the Student Veterans Association, plans to become a physician’s assistant after graduation.
“I chose UIC because it was a great school that was close to home, and close to my family, which would help support me through school,” he said.