U.S. Army file photo

I spent the first two years after I separated from the military in business school. Heading back to a degree program gave me a chance to learn how to negotiate civilian culture in a relatively safe environment. I didn’t realize at the time how much more difficult it would be than I expected — and how critical that time would be to my future success, too.

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U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Joseph DiGirolamo

It’s been just over three years since I left the Marines and while I don’t regret my decision to leave, I’ve come to realize that there are aspects of my military service that I miss. I served from 20082012 as a combat correspondent, and during my time in I spent two deployments in Afghanistan with 1st Battalion, 6th Marines.

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Photo by Sgt. Kimberly Hackbarth

Editor’s Note: This article has been modified from its original version, which was published on the LinkedIn page of Melody Fugazzotto.

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