Thu, 10 Jul, 2014
Pat Tillman Scholarship Awarded to Fort Bragg/Pope AAF Student
A native of Eagle Pass, Texas, located near the Mexican border about two hours west of San Antonio, Espino joined the Army soon after high school at the age of 18 in 2000. Not long into his service, the country was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001; and Espino would serve his country as a special forces medic on the frontlines in Iraq and Afghanistan. He would experience multiple intense moments during his deployments, treating soldiers injured in battle … some of them would not survive their injuries.
There were positive moments as well. One of Espino’s commanding officers was a doctor of osteopathic medicine, and on more than one occasion, they served the Afghan population by treating the sick and providing basic modern health care to regions that had never seen it.
“My whole experience in the military was about [leadership],” says Espino, now 31. “But I’m not one to dwell on the past. I’m excited about my future. I’m excited to be part of something new.”
Espino, who began taking undergraduate courses at Campbell’s Fort Bragg/Pope campus while stationed there, left active duty in 2010 to focus more on his education and earn his degree in health sciences in December 2012. Espino applied for the Pat Tillman Scholarship. Espino applied late to be a part of the first class and was initially put on a waiting list. Soon after being told this, however, a spot opened up, and Espino was chosen over hundreds of others also on the list at the time. He says simply being chosen was an honor for him.
"I want to definitely encourage Campbell and CUSOM veterans or spouses to pursue this scholarship. I knew it was a competitive scholarship but had no idea it was extremely difficult to win this award. Out of 7800 applicants only 58 scholarships were awarded (that's only 2.4% of applicants). It definitely turned out to be more than just a scholarship, it's a family. Some of the best schools in the nation including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, Duke, Hopkins were represented including their medical programs and I'm happy to say that the only D.O. School that had a representative was CUSOM, and only the second D.O. student to receive the scholarship ever I believe. I felt very proud to bring Campbell University and Osteopathic Medicine to the Pat Tillman community."
Espino was honored to meet Marie Tillman, Pat Tillman's widow and Co-Founder of the foundation. The summit involved leadership courses, how to elevate your. status from a good student to a great leader who can to maximize their potential Espino recalls her describing it as: "This is not a scholarship about grades or what school you got into... it is about your past, your experience, service, potential, willingness to continue to serve, and more importantly humility."
"You don't know how extremely humbling this entire experience was and I hope to see more of our student veterans apply for this amazing opportunity. It really helped put things in perspective for me. I know the ultimate goal is to finish medical school and become a Physician, but then what? Its not just about being successful, making money, living well... there is more to life than that. I was chosen for a reason so how can I use my experience and the opportunities I have been blessed to have received to impact others? I haven't quite figured that out yet, but am excited to begin on that journey."
About the Pat Tillman Foundation
Family and friends established the Pat Tillman Foundation following Pat’s death in 2004 while serving with the 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan. Created to honor Pat’s legacy and pay tribute to his commitment to leadership and service, the Pat Tillman Foundation is a national leader in providing educational support and resources to veterans, active servicemembers and their spouses. Inspired by Pat’s attributes of leadership, passion for education and spirit of service, the Foundation annually awards educational scholarships through the Tillman Military Scholars program. Since the Foundation’s inception, over $5 million in educational support has been invested in individuals committed to a life of service both in and out of uniform, including over $3.2 million awarded to 230 Tillman Military Scholars nationwide. For more information on the Tillman Military Scholars program, please visit www.pattillmanfoundation.org/scholars.