The Hub@TTU is launching a series focusing on veterans studying at Texas Tech University. The series, which will include photos, videos, diary entries, Q&A’s and profiles, will tell the stories of veterans transitioning back to civilian life and of those that have already made the transition.
After dropping out of high school in 1995 and having his first son two years later, Jeremy Sedeño decided to pursue what would end up being be a seven-year military career. In 2005, Sedeño carried an M4 assault rifle through Iraq as a combat medic in the United States Army.
Sedeño earned a Bronze Star and Combat Medical Badge before being medically discharged and sent back to his hometown of Lubbock. He went on to earn his Bachelor of Arts in History and Ethic Studies and Master’s in Secondary Education.
Sedeño recently transitioned from the Military and Veterans Program office to the Cross-Cultural Academic Advancement Center, where he organizes and plans events to see students achieve in their academic and personal endeavors.
Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
The Hub@TTU: Enlisting in the United States Army is a big decision to make. What made you do it?
Jeremy Sedeño: For me, it was a way out, you know? I never finished high school, I never graduated. I ended up dropping out, getting my GED, and then having my first son. After that I was going job to job, never really knowing what to do. My dad had served and it was always in the back of my mind. The timing was right and I thought, “What can it hurt?” So I went ahead and joined in 2000 right before 9/11.
The Hub@TTU: Returning from the service, what lessons did you bring back that impacted your college career?
Sedeño: What the Army gave me was invaluable. It taught me how to be an adult in a positive way. Even up until now, the lessons and the core values I received from the Army follow me in my daily life. It also showed me that sometimes our veterans are under appreciated. People get too caught up in the politics of it, but our veterans served steadfast.
The Hub@TTU: While in Iraq, what did you miss the most from the United States?
Sedeño: Food, food, definitely food! I was attached to a mortar unit which consisted of 13 men including myself. Sometimes we wouldn’t get our resupply trucks in and we would get really low on food for a month or so. We would get with the locals and get food through them. It’s crazy, but food was a really big deal.
The Hub@TTU: Is there anything you wish you could tell the average 18-25 year old college student?
Sedeño: I would tell them that they’re here for a reason. Do your best and be friendly. Get to know the people on your right and left and remember that you only get your college years once so enjoy it. After graduation, it’s a totally different world.
The Hub@TTU: How do you feel Texas Tech separates itself from other universities?
Sedeño: What I love about Lubbock and what makes Texas Tech different is because they work together. Texas Tech isn’t Texas Tech without Lubbock, and vice versa. They support each other well and go hand and hand. Texas Tech is a part of my family and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Then, of course, tortillas! I love seeing the tortillas on game day! That’s how you know you’re really in Lubbock.