Brendan O'Shaughnessy | November 10, 2016
Seung-Jae (David) Oh stared across God Quad at the Golden Dome glowing in the night sky and thought of the green light on the other side of the Long Island Sound in the classic American novel The Great Gatsby. Both beacons represented something wondrous but unattainable.
So, like many Notre Dame students before him, Oh lit a candle at the Grotto and prayed that he would be back. This wasn’t a symbolic wish — he had signed up for the military in 2009, a time the country was at war.
Oh’s family moved to the U.S. from South Korea when he was in 11th grade, and Notre Dame was his dream school. But during his first year on campus, he realized he was running out of money and couldn’t turn to the government for a loan because he was technically an international student. Just in time, he learned that the U.S. military was recruiting foreign students as interpreters and cultural advisers. The program offered citizenship and G.I. Bill benefits that could pay his tuition.