The sky isn’t even the limit for Jay Strobino, an army veteran from Tennessee. The veteran, who was shot 13 times while serving in Iraq, achieved a great milestone in his life by graduating from college, 12 years after the devastating ordeal.
“It’s like a dream” when Strobino walks across the stage to receive his college degree in Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) on Dec. 15, 2018.
INCREDIBLE! Jay Strobino was shot 13 times while deployed in Iraq. This weekend, he walked the stage and received his diploma from Middle Tennessee State University
— FoxNashville (@FOXNashville) December 17, 2018
“I mean, it’s not real. It doesn’t feel real, it doesn’t seem real in my body, in my mind,” Strobino told Fox 17 Nashville.
Speaking to Inside Edition, he said: “MTSU is one of the only universities that acknowledges their veteran graduates separate and it was such an honor. At graduation, you’re wearing your stole and they have every veteran rise and you’re acknowledged separately from the entire graduating class. And it was just amazing.”
The accomplishment came 12 years after Strobino survived a devastating ordeal.
Back in 2006, while serving as an Army sergeant in the 101st Airborne Division in Iraq, Strobino was shot 13 times in a one-on-one conflict with a militant during a mission to capture a high-profile target.
“He came back around and he shot me again, and right before he shot me again I was like, ‘this is it.’ That was it, all I could do was roll over and take the brunt of it again,” Strobino recalled.
Strobino, whose acts of bravery are detailed in Jim Frederick’s 2011 book “Black Hearts: One Platoon’s Descent into Madness in Iraq’s Triangle of Death,” almost died after bullets went through the right side of his body, striking his femur, lung, and neck.
Luckily, he was able to regain his mobility following a year of rehab.
“Yeah, it’s wild,” Strobino told WSMV. “It’s nothing short of a miracle that I’m alive let alone standing on my own legs moving my own body.”
#Army #veteran, Jay Strobino, who was shot more than 10 times while deployed in Iraq walked across the stage as he…
Strobino believes “there’s definitely more good that came out of this than bad.”
“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.”
Choosing to face life with optimism, the veteran carried on with his life. He has since worked in construction, excavation, land clearing, and is now a pharmacy technician.
He also enrolled at MTSU.
Strobino could have graduated from MTSU in 2013; however, his graduation was delayed because he filled out the wrong forms and had a hard time locating the right offices.
He called it off, but thankfully, with the help of the Daniels Veterans Center—a center dedicated to assist veterans transit from military to college, then to a successful career—Strobino finally graduated with a major in exercise science and a minor in biology.
“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,” said Strobino, alluding to the Daniels Veterans Center.
Student veteran and graduating senior Jay Strobino was introduced by Lt. Gen. Keith Huber at today's quarterly Board of…
Strobino plans to pursue a master’s degree in Exercise Science at MTSU. And with his new degree, he hopes to find a job at the Department of Veterans Affairs, using his own example to show fellow veterans that nothing is impossible.
“The sky isn’t even the limit. You can push past that, like there is no limit,” said Strobino.
Indeed, we’re all capable of doing many things by having a strong mindset, just as Olympic figure skater Scott Hamilton said, “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”
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