Serving those who served

Military Affiliated Resource Center

K-State’s Military Affiliated Resource Center allows student veterans to thrive at K-State.

A family within the K-State family. That’s how students who served in the armed forces prior to attending K-State describe the Military Affiliated Resource Center.

Each year many non-traditional students experience the deep impact of the Military Affiliated Resource Center. One K-Stater explains what the center means to her success — and how it needs to grow.

The life of a student veteran

From Fort Riley to Fort Bliss, Chelsea Buntjer gained discipline and leadership experience that pushed her to change her life forever.

Chelsea, a 30-year-old park management and conservation student who got out of the Army in 2020, found transitioning to Kansas State difficult. Since Chelsea is a wife and a mother, pivoting to college didn’t just involve her, but also her husband and children.

Before heading to K-State, Chelsea originally planned on making the military her career. However, Chelsea looked at her family and realized that she craved extra career and financial security for them and for her own wellbeing. She decided to pursue her college degree as a backup plan.

“I chose to join the military to be a part of something bigger than myself. I would not be where I am today without military benefits supporting my schooling,” said Chelsea. “I knew I wanted something better for myself and for my children.”

Outside of her studies, Chelsea’s Wildcat experience has been nothing short of a whirlwind.

“Being a student here at K-State has really changed me,” she said. “I went from being a full-time employee and mom to a full-time student who works part-time and doesn’t have as much time for family.”

Because Chelsea is a nontraditional student, her typical day looks different compared to what a traditional student may experience.

“I face challenges every day that the typical student probably won’t face for a few years because of my kids and my age,” she said. “Life experience is a big reason behind why I want to be successful. I have a lot driving me.”

Striving for better resources

While the MARC is beloved by student veterans, support from donors is critical to help the center expand its services.

Chelsea highlighted two areas that would significantly benefit the student veteran experience —veteran-specific academic advisors and connections to affordable, reliable childcare.

“Providing those resources would take a stressor off of students with children who rely on those providers to be able to come to school,” Chelsea said.

Investing in the Military Affiliated Resource Center will help keep student veterans at K-State and ensure they can provide for the futures of their families.

To support MARC and student veterans, click here, or contact Heather Strafuss at 785-775-2146 or

*First published in April 2023.

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Heather Strafuss Fundraising services manager