Veteran accompanied by service dog to accept dual degrees at Texas A&M University-San Antonio graduation
By University Communications
Wednesday, 05 11 2016
Patriotic pride beams brightly during Military Appreciation month as Texas A&M University-San Antonio prepares to award a veteran with two bachelor’s degrees at the May 20 commencement ceremony. The distinguished disabled student, C.J. Larkin, 30, a former Army serviceman, will walk across the stage at graduation with his service dog, Jack Russell mix, Andy, who has been Larkin’s classroom companion for the past three years.
The accomplishment of earning bachelor’s degree in criminology and sociology is an achievement that surpassed Larkin’s expectation, having suffered severe injuries as a serviceman in Iraq at age 20. “I was there for 11 months, 17 days and 16 hours before the injury happen,” Larkin said. Although his time was short, his recovery process was long, having sustained two brain injuries and loss of limb. His mother was told he wouldn’t walk or talk again, nor have long-term memory.
Like the 13 percent of A&M-San Antonio students’ identifying as part of the military population, Larkin was able to thrive at the university by utilizing the resources it offers the military community students and their families. The Office of Military Affairs provides educational benefits for students, ranging from resources from partner organizations to ROTC for students considering a military career. In addition, A&M-San Antonio is the only Purple Heart University in San Antonio, honoring veterans and recipients of the Purple Heart medal.
In preparation for commencement, Larkin, along with other graduating veterans, will be honored at the Patriot Cord Recognition Ceremony at Patriots’ Casa on May 13 at 6 p.m. Hosted by Texas A&M University-San Antonio Leadership and Office for Military Affairs, former service men and women are draped with red, white and blue cords which adorn their cap and gown on commencement day.
The spring 2016 commencement ceremony is Friday, May 20, 4 - 6 p.m., at the Freeman Colisuem, 3201 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78219 San Antonio, Texas 78224. In attendance will be Joaquin Castro, U.S. House of Representative for 20th Congressional District of Texas, along with Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, president of Texas A&M University-San Antonio and other distinguished faculty and staff.
About Texas A&M University-San Antonio
With a nearly 700-acre Main Campus to expand into, the military-embracing university recently announced its expansion to welcome freshman and sophomore applicants to enroll in fall 2016. Currently enrolling nearly 4,600 students, Texas A&M University-San Antonio is the fastest-growing university in the state. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are available for the lowest university tuition in San Antonio for a variety of in-demand fields, including teacher preparation, business, information technology, and cyber security. To learn more, visit www.tamusa.edu.