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Veteran Shot 13 Times in Iraq Walks Across Stage at College Graduation

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Plenty of people struggle when it comes to completing their education. I got my sheepskin a little later than I’d intended due to quitting college a semester early to take a job.

And once you quit, it’s often hard to get back into the swing of things. In fact, that was almost the reason why a veteran from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, didn’t end up getting his own diploma.

According to WZTV, Jay Strobino almost didn’t graduate from Middle Tennessee State University because he hadn’t filled out the correct forms. He also couldn’t find the correct office on campus where he could drop them off.

The fact that a few sheets of paper nearly kept him from achieving his dream is ironic. See, Strobino really shouldn’t be alive today, much less able to move and think on his own.

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Fox News reported that Strobino was an Army veteran in the 101st Airborne Division that was deployed to Iraq in 2006. While deployed, his unit was given a mission.

They were supposed to apprehend a high-profile person, an individual who was supplying rebels with money and goods.

However, enemy combatants were waiting for them. During the subsequent ambush, an insurgent shot Strobino 13 times.

“He came back around and he shot me again, and right before he shot me again I was like, ‘This is it,’” Strobino said. “That was it, all I could do was roll over and take the brunt of it again.”

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According to WSMV, the slugs struck his femur and blasted through a lung. Another sped through his neck.

Amazingly, the assault didn’t kill the soldier. He made it back home and regained his mobility after a year of physical therapy.

Strobino maintained a sunny outlook despite his difficulties. In fact, he said that his physical troubles meant he had to stay positive.

He explained, “There’s no way when I can, you know, be down on myself on a situation like that when I have my limbs. I have my life.”

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“It’s wild. It’s nothing short of a miracle that I’m alive let alone standing on my own legs moving my own body.”

Not only is he standing on his own legs, but Strobino also walked across the stage at his graduation with a major in exercise science and a minor in biology.

Strobino credited The Daniels’ Center, which helps veterans transition from military life to civilian careers, with his academic success. “They’re there, not just for your academic help and growth, but they’re there for job opportunities and they have networks of businesses that are dying to hire veterans because they know the work ethic they bring to the table,” he said.

He hopes others will follow his example, saying, “The sky isn’t even the limit. You can push past that. Like, there is no limit.”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
Education
Wheaton College
Location
Florida
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith, Travel




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