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Army Proud on the Campus of the University of South Dakota

November 10, 2017

 

Angela Miller

Veteran and Store Manager Angela Miller is shown at the USD Bookstore on the campus of the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. Photo: Tim Hynds, Sioux City Journal

 

 

At Barnes & Noble College, we’re honored to support student veterans at 1,495 physical and virtual bookstores across the country. We’re also very proud of the military men and women who are employed with our company. In honor of Veterans Day, we’re thanking Angela Miller for her — and her family’s service to our country.

 


 

 

Angela Miller is humble about her veteran’s status. Although she served in the U.S. Army, she hesitates to say she is a veteran. “I was never deployed, so I feel uneasy saying I’m a veteran,” she says. “People in the military know what I’m talking about.”

 

Her resume reveals a wide variety of experiences all over the world, but there’s one theme she’s carried throughout her life: a long family tradition and commitment to serve. And while University of South Dakota (USD) students know her as the manager of their campus bookstore, student veterans know her as one of their own.

 

Permission Granted

Angela Miller (nee Tronson) Basic Training, Fort Jackson, SC. August 1986.

Miller was just 17 years old and a senior in high school in Everett, Washington, when she asked for her parents’ permission to join the Army. She enlisted in December 1985, and six months later, graduated from high school and headed to basic training in South Carolina. Miller eventually settled at the Defense Language Institute in Monterrey, California, where she became immersed in an intensive nine-month study of German, a language she was familiar with, having lived in Germany while her father, now a retired Army career veteran, was stationed there. During her first week at the Institute, she met another soldier training in German as well — Stan Miller. “We knew two weeks after we met that we’d be getting married,” she says, “and three and a half months later, we exchanged vows — and we’ve been married for 31 years.”

 

Miller’s route to the USD campus began 17 years ago, when her husband acepted a teaching position with the University’s ROTC program. She took a part-time job at the campus bookstore, and for the past 11 years, she has been its manager. In 2004, her husband retired from the Army after a 24-year career as a Green Beret and now serves as the veterans’ representative for the South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation.

 

Transitioning to College

Federal data show 1.1 million military and veteran students were attending college in 2012, the most recent year reported by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. For many of these non-traditional students, facing the dual challenge of transitioning out of military life and into academic life can be challenging. Ranked among the top four-year colleges nationally for military veterans, according to the Military Times’ 2016 Best for Vets list, the University of South Dakota provides the Student Veterans Resource Center (SVRC), a department exclusively dedicated to supporting veterans, current military, military spouses and their dependents.

 

“The military is a big family and it’s great that I can be a source of help — or just a friendly face — here in the bookstore. They feel comfortable stopping by because I know their experiences.”

 

In an unofficial capacity, Miller plays a supportive role for USD’s student veterans by lending a friendly ear and knowing smile. As a veteran and someone whose father, husband and three sons have all served in the Army, she can share a unique perspective that few others can offer. “I’m happy to be a point of contact for these students on campus,” she says. “The military is a big family and it’s great that I can be a source of help — or just a friendly face — here in the bookstore. They feel comfortable stopping by because I know their experiences.”

 

Enlisting in the Army as a teenager, Miller never imagined she would someday be managing a campus bookstore, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. When asked about her career, Miller focuses less on herself and more on the students and servicemen and women she connects with on campus every day. “This is a wonderful university and USD does such an incredible job of supporting our students who have served or who are currently serving in the military,” she says.

 

Her immense pride serving her country is evident as she sums up her own experience. “I’m an Army brat, Army soldier, Army wife, Army mom — and Army proud.”

 

 

2 responses to “Army Proud on the Campus of the University of South Dakota”

  1. Lena Tronson says:

    I am very proud of this lady. She has worked her way up from school all the way to here. She is my oldies Child and my oldies Daughter. I know how hard she has worked in her job and her family. Thank you Angela, Stan, AJ, Tim , Kris and my Husband Donald for your service to this country.

    • bncadmin says:

      Thank you for sharing, Lena, and we couldn’t agree more. Angela is a valued member of the Barnes & Noble College and USD families – and her service to our country, as well as that of her family’s, commands great respect. We’re both honored and proud to tell her story.

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