By Doug McPherson
Leaving a successful military career for college wasn’t an easy decision for Danny Guy.
After all, he experienced much success in seven years with the Air Force and five with the Colorado Air National Guard, which honored him as the 2019 noncommissioned officer of the year.
“It was a tough decision to leave something that I loved, but I knew there was more that would satisfy me,” Guy said. “The unknown was truly fearful, but my drive was strong.”
That drive led Guy to Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he graduated this month with a Nutrition Science degree, a 3.83 GPA and the fall 2021 President’s Award.
Further, he won the University’s junior leadership award, served as the student health ambassador for the University’s Board of Trustees and was president of the Roadrunners Run Wild Running Club.
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For those who know him, it’s no surprise he has succeeded. That’s because he has adopted a mantra that sends him headfirst into challenges.
“I’ve learned to get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” Guy said. “So much of life is unknown. None of us has a crystal ball that can tell us if what we do will be successful. Often, we get a feeling of anxiety and discomfort – that it’s easier to just put it off or avoid it altogether.”
Instead of putting college off, Guy headed to Colorado from Guam in 2015. Though he had no family or friends in Denver, he had visited previously “and experienced the outdoor and active culture of Denver.”
“I knew I could surround myself with like-minded, health-conscious people to help steer my career,” he said.
That career is now focused firmly on health, an interest that Guy developed in the military, “so I wanted to study it, master it and help others,” he said.
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Guy originally joined the military because his life lacked direction and he wasn’t sure what career field he wanted to pursue. He enlisted in the Air Force after graduating from high school, and the decision bolstered his drive to excel.
“It surrounded me with others who expect a lot out of you,” Guy said. “It molded my discipline and the desire to push any and all limits. Ultimately, the self-discipline, resilience and leading men and women have helped me succeed at MSU Denver and in all aspects of my life.”
He said he is particularly grateful that he was able to be a part of, and to see, all walks of life at MSU Denver – from recent high school graduates “to the 35-year-old vet, to the single mom attending night school, to the undocumented student pushing against the grain and pursuing education.”
“The diversity and inclusion that the campus embodies is something I truly appreciated,” Guy said.
Guy plans to apply to medical school next summer and hopes to work as a physician in the Air Force. Eventually he plans to further pursue a medical career focused on “complete, holistic preventative patient care” achieved through health-system policy changes and innovative health-plan ideas.
Meanwhile, he remains focused on “how we can be courageous in the many facets of our lives.”
“Courage is an action, it is a practice, and it is in the doing that we cultivate more of it,” he said.
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