Army veteran Jay Strobino was shot 13 times at close range in 2006 while serving in Iraq. He almost didn’t make it back home.
Twelve years later Strobino walked across the stage at Middle Tennessee State University to receive his degree.
According to WSMV, Strobino’s company with the 101st Airborne Division was ambushed by enemy militants.
One of them got close to Strobino and opened fire.
“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 told FOX17.
Bullets hit Strobino in the femur, lung and neck.
When Strobino came home he went through over a year of rehabilitation. After being discharged, and with the help of the Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center, Strobino enrolled at MTSU.
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Strobino graduated with a degree in Exercise Science and a minor in Biology on Saturday, December 15.
“It’s like a dream; I mean, it’s not real. It doesn’t feel real, it doesn’t seem real in my body, in my mind,” he said.
The veteran intends to return to school for his masters degree, perhaps one day landing a position at the Department of Veterans Affairs, WSMV reports.
“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,” Strobino told NBC 4.
On Dec. 5, Strobino received the Journey Award from David Corlew, co-founder of The Journey Home Project nonprofit organization. Learn more about his battle and triumphs in the video below.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.