There are few people on campus as approachable and friendly as Jeffrey Benjamin, but if you find yourself on his bad side it probably means one thing – getting tossed out of the Inn Between.
Benjamin, more commonly known as "J.B.," works as a bouncer for the popular late-night hangout, but he is also an army veteran, having completed two tours of duty in Iraq before his time here at Geneseo. The history major is in his third semester at college, but growing up he had dreamed of being in the military.
"One thing I remember most from childhood was as a 12-year-old kid seeing the commercials for something like Army Airborne Rangers," Benjamin said. "It's just something I always knew I'd want to do."
In his two tours, Benjamin worked both as a sniper and infantryman for nine- and 12-month stints. In addition to having his tuition and living expenses paid for, his service opened up his eyes to a unique perspective.
"You join the army and you're thrust into adult life," Benjamin said. "You're 1,600 miles away at a camp in Texas, and even though you might want help from family or friends, you have to do everything on your own."
Of the people and places he encountered while on his tours, Benjamin said, "It's such a culture shock being over there. You really get to see what we Americans take for granted." After seeing how little some people have in Iraq, Benjamin stated that he's certainly been more grateful for how good he has it here.
Benjamin is currently in the Inactive Ready Reserve, an army unit in which he could be called back to service, though he has yet to be summoned. He said that while his future is not in the military, he's open-minded about joining the Army Reserve. He said he plans to teach locally post-graduation
"I've lived in this area my whole life," Benjamin explained. "I'd love to stay here and teach history." He added half-jokingly, "High school only though, I can't deal with little kids."
Benjamin said his job as a bouncer at the I.B. suited his military experience, even though he added it's a bit of an odd job.
"People tend to sometimes make complete fools of themselves," he said. Although many of his best stories from work are a tad too lewd to print, any regular patron probably has an idea of what ridiculous occasions can arise for bouncers. Unfortunately for our readers under 21, Benjamin hinted that telling him you've read this article will not get you in for over.
Benjamin is also a member of the rugby team and said he finds himself fitting in just fine at Geneseo. He said that although he realizes that he's a few years older than most of his peers, he's enjoying his time here and has been lucky enough to stay in the area he loves most.