of Veterans Services Relocates to Enrollment Center @ the Tower
TEXAS – SEPTEMBER 13, 2013 – Having returned just a few weeks ago
from a tour of duty in Afghanistan, Joe Escobedo is back at work overseeing the
Office of Veterans Services at The University of Texas at Brownsville.
Joe Escobedo, Coordinator of Military Student Services
Veterans Services is committed to helping current and former military
students start or continue their education by providing a place to receive
assistance with enrollment, registration, advising and help navigating the
paperwork of the various financial aid opportunities available to veterans.
“It’s good to be back in my old job, and
in this nice new location,” said Escobedo. “We are right in the middle of all
With 17 years of
military service, and 13 of those on active duty, Escobedo knows what action is
all about, having been deployed once to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan.
No longer is Sargent First Class
Escobedo training soldiers in the Afghan National Army, as he did being the
NCOIC [Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge] with a 12-man team did during his
last tour of duty; rather, he is buried in paperwork making sure all the needs
are met for the 494 veterans and 128 military dependents enrolled at UTB this
“Returning as I did, right before the
start of the fall semester, I just couldn’t sit at home when there was so much
to do; among other things, we needed to get everyone’s certificate of
enrollment reported to the state to receive their benefits,” said Escobedo, who
is using his leave time to return to his position as Coordinator of Military
“My two student assistants and I are
here to help veterans make a smooth transition from their military experience
to a college experience,” Escobedo said. “We answer questions about admissions
and assist with applying for benefits, including financial aid. This is the
place for veterans to come for help of any nature; if it’s out of our realm, we
connect them with the appropriate resource.”
Escobedo says UTB has always been a
military-friendly school and will not drop students from the academic rolls if
their benefits are behind schedule in processing.
“Before I was sent to work in an
advisory capacity with the Afghan National Army during this last deployment, I attended
advising training at Fort Polk, Louisiana,” Escobedo said. “That was
exceptional training; I used it over there, and I have been drawing upon it
every day since returning when working with the students.”
Dr. Sylvia Leal, Vice President for
Enrollment Services, said locating Veterans Services in a central location is important
to providing good service for all veterans, whether starting their first
semester or already on the road to their degrees.
Joe Escobedo in Afghanistan
“We want all students – including our
new and returning veterans and their dependents – to know about the convenience
of the Enrollment Center at the Tower,” Leal said.
as a good example of a veteran who has taken advantage of military benefits. In
1999, he graduated from UTB cum laude with his Bachelor of Arts in history with
the assistance of the Montgomery GI Bill. Currently, he is pursuing his
Master of Education with assistance from the Army Tuition Assistance Program.
He transferred some unused hours from his Hazlewood Exemption to his son while
he was attending UTB, and he plans to transfer his Ch. 33 (Post 9/11) education
benefits to his daughter, who will be start classes at UTB in the spring 2014
Escobedo also wants current active duty
personnel and young men and women who may be considering entering the military
to be aware of Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC), an organization funded
by the Department of Defense. UTB is among the participating universities, providing
college education opportunities for service members stationed around the world.
Another veteran-focused program on the
UTB campus is Veterans Upward Bound, located in room 2.28 of the Student Union
on Ringgold Road. Veterans are encouraged to visit Veterans Upward Bound to
seek support services such as pre/post assessment testing, academic tutoring
and career counseling.
For more information on Veterans Upward
Bound, contact David Rivera at 956-832-7127 or email@example.com.