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'I needed something to change my life': Man says time in military brought him focus

News 12 spoke to a Manhattan College student who shares how his years in the military helped change the trajectory of his life.

News 12 Staff

May 23, 2022, 12:19 PM

Updated 761 days ago

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News 12 spoke to a Manhattan College student who shares how his years in the military helped change the trajectory of his life.
When Shou Oikawa was 27 years old, he decided to enlist in the Marine Corps.
"I just like to tell people that I've had sort of a mid-life crisis. I needed something to change my life. I had a dead-end job," he says.
It was a decision that led to six years in the military serving in Afghanistan, Korea and Japan. Coming from a Japanese background, being stationed in Okinawa gave Oikawa an opportunity to reconnect with his roots.
"I got to express my Asian heritage, my Japanese side. A lot of these people were not familiar of Japan, so I got to be able to share my culture," Oikawa says.
After his tour, Oikawa came back to New York where he's now pursuing a master's degree in electrical engineering at Manhattan College. He says his time in the military gave him a clearer sense of direction.
Oikawa now serves as the secretary for the Student Veterans Organization on campus where he gets to connect with fellow veterans who share his experience.


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