CASTINE, Maine — It makes perfect sense that a Maritime Academy would attract veterans who are looking to go back to school. That was the draw for the 38 veterans who currently attending Maine Maritime Academy.

Not only is it a great public school for undergraduates looking to pursue a maritime career but its recently been named the best school in the country for veterans.

The 2020 U.S. News & World Report named Maine Maritime Academy the #1 school for veterans; an honor that is making school President William Brennan feeling very proud.

“It's not just a sense of pride but an acknowledgment of the great work that goes on here," said Brennan.

Matthew Chase served for four years in the U.S. Navy before attending Maine Maritime Academy. 

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“If you want to go back into the maritime profession this is definitely the place to do it," Chase said.

Directly in between the alumni center and student center sits another area for some students to study, relax, or hangout during their busy days. An area specifically for the veterans.

“We’re all shipmates you know we help each other, we support one another and there's no better place that that's demonstrated than in the Veterans Center," Brennan added.

The Veterans Center along with other groups on campus, help vets with the transition from active service to fulltime student. Chase noted that Maine Maritime has helped his adjustment tremendously.

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“It’s kind of eased me back into the civilian sector of things so I enjoy it,” Chase said.

The experience of the veterans will also be helpful in the near future when a new vessel comes up the Penobscot Bay.

Maine Maritime Academy along with two other Maritime schools were awarded funding by Congress for new training vessels. The vessels will give students first hand training on ships, and serve as a classroom when docked. The vessels can even help out during emergency situations.

“In the history of the academy we have never had a purpose built training ship,” said MMA President William Brennan

No date has been set for the new boat to be docked in Castine. 

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