| Ted Buck Finds Veteran Support at UST |
When Ted Buck returned from three deployments to Iraq in 2008, he entered the job market equipped with new skills, experience, confidence and the discipline he learned in the Marine Corps. Like many other returning veterans, Buck came home from his third tour of duty in Iraq to an economy in far worse condition than he had left it.
“I thought I had more than adequate experience from the Marine Corp to get a job, but nobody was hiring," said Buck. “It got so tough, I used all my savings, sold all my guitars, and worked as a security guard to make ends meet."
Options were limited at the time and Buck knew he had to do something to make himself indispensable in the market place. As he was pondering his next move, Buck discovered he could apply his veteran educational benefits to earn a degree at a private university. When he found out St. Thomas was a viable option, he attended a Veteran Open House.
“The St. Thomas Veterans Services staff discussed how benefits would be completely accepted here,” he said. “I never thought I could afford a private university.”
St. Thomas is dedicated to serving the veterans who are students on our campus and was named a 2011 Military Friendly School by militaryonlinecollege.com. Our President, Dr. Robert Ivany, a Retired Major General in the U.S. Army, is committed to assisting men and women who have dedicated their lives to service. St. Thomas offers a full-time Director of Veterans Services, academic advising, transcript evaluation, federal financial aid and veteran support services including the Student Veteran Association.
Buck had previously taken courses at Houston Community College, and he was pleasantly surprised how simple it was to transfer to St. Thomas.
“The customer service at St. Thomas is great and the transfer admissions process is easy,” he said. “There are no lines to wait in, the staff understands veteran benefits and they answer your questions promptly. The one time I had difficulties with my veteran benefits, they were already working on it before I even asked. Now my benefits completely cover the cost of tuition and housing, and I am able to focus solely on my education. What more can you ask for?”
Now in his second year at St. Thomas, Buck is majoring in accounting in the five-year BBA/MBA program. He said he enjoys learning about ethical solutions to global business challenges.
“I want to go into business as a strong leader who is able to make moral and ethical decisions that benefit the greater good. After graduation, I can’t be certain where life will take me, but I know the integrity and knowledge I gained from my experience in the military and my education at St. Thomas will equip me to face any challenge.”
Watch a video about Veterans at the University of St. Thomas. For more information, contact Phillip Butcher, director of Veteran Services, at 713-942-3409.