CHICAGO (WLS) -- DePaul University has more than 500 veterans now enrolled as students, and the university honored them on Veteran's Day.
DePaul students Simone Ramsey and Jimmy Powers credit their years in military service for motivating them to go to college after they served.
"You get trained and you build all of these tools like life lessons and abilities and it motivates you to do everything else possible you want to do that you didn't think you could do before," Ramsey said.
Ramsey, 32, is a DePaul accounting major. Following high school, the Zion native went to college for one year before dropping out and joining the U.S. Army. Ramsey was part of an all-female engagement team. Her duty included combat missions in Afghanistan.
"My dad was in the Navy, my grandfather was in the Air Force and I did ROTC in high school," she said. "It was a calling for me."
It was a calling for Jimmy Powers, too. The Aurora native comes from a family of veterans. He joined the U.S. Navy right out of high school.
"I served on board a nuclear power submarine," Powers said. "We were involved in a lot of technology."
Powers said his experience pushed him to learn more, which is why he decided to go to college to pursue a computer science degree after serving. With more than 500 enrolled, DePaul has one of the largest populations of veterans among Chicago area colleges.
"We have a really great office here that helps students, as well as the Student Veteran Association," Powers said.
The student veterans offices made it much easier for Powers and Ramsey to ease into campus life after the military.
"I could relate to them a bit better," Ramsey said. "They are also a little older than people coming right out of high school, so it made my transition into DePaul a lot smoother and a lot more comfortable."
Ramsey, Powers and dozens of other veterans were honored Friday at a Veterans Day Ceremony at DePaul.
Ramsey and Powers plan to graduate from DePaul in 2024. He hopes to become a computer scientist and Simone's goal is to be an accountant for a big firm and eventually help veterans with their taxes.