Texas A&M Student Veteran And Family Receive Gift After Displacement From Flood

SW Kevin and Fam 650

Texas A&M student veteran Kevin Jensen was surprised with a $5,000 check presented by Soldier’s Wish, SUBWAY and the Texas A&M University Veteran Resource & Support Center (VSRC).

By Lesley Henton, Texas A&M University Marketing and Communications

Texas A&M University student Kevin Jensen is a disabled Army veteran and a Purple Heart recipient who served and was injured in Afghanistan when his truck drove over an IED. During last April’s storms in Texas, the Jensen family – wife Jessica and their three children – experienced extensive water damage to their home and had to relocate to temporary housing. But thanks to the non-profit organization Soldier’s Wish, SUBWAY, the Texas A&M University Veteran Resource & Support Center (VRSC) and the community, the Jensen family received funds to help with repairs.

Last Friday, Kevin, a junior in University Studies in the College of Architecture, thought he was giving a speech to fellow veterans at the SUBWAY location on Northgate in College Station, but instead was surprised with $5,000 to Lowe’s to help rebuild his home, located in Hempstead.

“There really aren’t enough words of thanks that we can say to express how truly grateful we are,” says Kevin.

“Over the past four-and-a-half years, the VRSC has built a strong Aggie Veteran Network to facilitate exceptional support for our student veterans and their families,” says Gerald “Jerry” Smith, Colonel, USMC (Ret.) and VRSC director. “This collaboration between SUBWAY, Soldier’s Wish and the VRSC is one example of the network creating positive impact for one of our Aggie American heroes. We are thankful for our countless campus and community partners that value and support student veteran success; together we are making Texas A&M the higher education ‘destination of choice’ as we enhance our ability to serve well those who have served.”

Mark Ochsenbein is the volunteer executive director for Soldier’s Wish, an organization that provides resources to help veterans with unmet needs. “It was a team effort between SUBWAY, Soldier’s Wish and Texas A&M, and we are just grateful to be able to help out this deserving family who met on hard times,” he notes.

Locally-owned SUBWAY restaurants in the College Station area partnered with Soldier’s Wish beginning last fall to support the nation’s troops and military families. SUBWAY customers throughout the region added a dollar amount to their purchase to support Soldier’s Wish.

As of now, Kevin, and Jessica who is a high school counselor at Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, have managed their household with little financial help. They say the strain of expensive temporary housing and the wear-away of their home that was purchased only two years ago has become too much to bear. The couple commutes to Hempstead daily to care for their five horses that remain on the property. Kevin was accepted to Texas A&M for the fall semester and has been commuting to the campus from Cypress.

“The money that we were given by Soldier’s Wish and SUBWAY from being nominated by my adviser, Karen Allen, as well as Col. Smith and Sgt. Maj. Freeman, is a tremendous help as we try and get back into our home,” Kevin says. “The house has sat for so long that the damages are so extensive that we are finding it hard to cover everything. There is so much that needs to be done and this money will help us get closer to the end.”

Kevin says after graduation, he’d like to work in the construction industry.

Texas A&M First In The Nation For Serving Veterans

About Soldier’s Wish

It is the mission of Soldier’s Wish to say “Thank You” and to identify and provide for unmet needs of active duty service members, veterans of military service, and their families. We honor all branches of service – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. “Veterans” may be those who have served only a short time and are still on active duty, those who served a single enlistment, those who were discharged due to their wounds, and those who retired from active duty. In addition, Soldier’s Wish will educate the public about the needs of the veteran’s and active duty communities and encourage the public to participate in meeting those needs by volunteering and other means. For additional information visit http://www.soldierswish.org/.

About SUBWAY Restaurants

Guests in 112 countries have easy access to a fresh line-up of vegetables for their made-to-order sandwiches and salads at any of the more than 44,000 franchised locations. The company, founded 50 years-ago by then 17-year-old Fred DeLuca and family-friend Dr. Peter Buck, is still a family-owned business with thousands of dedicated franchisees/entrepreneurs in neighborhoods around the world, providing easy access to vegetables, detailed nutrition, dietary, and healthy lifestyle information. This has been a priority for the SUBWAY restaurant chain for many years. To learn more, visit www.subway.com. SUBWAY is a registered trademark of Subway IP Inc. For more information about the SUBWAY chain, visit www.subway.com, Facebook.com/subway or twitter.com/subwayfreshbuzz.

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Media contact: Lesley Henton, Texas A&M University, 979-845-5591 or lshenton@tamu.edu

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