College students aren’t always known for being the most responsible people. But some administrators at UCF say students who come to campus with military experience have an advantage over their fellow classmates.

They point to veterans turned students such as junior Chris Galvin. The business administration major and military history minor brought eight years of real-world experience gained during active duty in the Army and a Purple Heart when he stepped onto campus.

During his time in the Army, Galvin served in Kosovo, along the Israeli, Egyptian border, in Kuwait and in Iraq. But he says the toughest battles of his career came in Afghanistan. In May of 2005, his nine-man squad was trying to assist some scouts in a valley when they were surrounded by the Taliban.

“As we breach this wall we get ambushed by about five to 10 Taliban with automatic weapons and a grenade ends up going off about three or four feet to my left,” said Galvin. “One of my soldiers he has a leg blown off from that one, and the rest of the shrapnel went into my legs, and arms and hands.”

But somehow he still got his man to safety and continued to fight the growing number of Taliban forces.

“We took fire from 360 degrees for about three to four hours,” said Galvin.

At one point, his unit started taking sniper fire.

“I told my guys to lay low and then I, like a dumb ass, decide to run from position to position all around here to try to pick out this sniper and make him shoot at me,” said Galvin.

His gamble worked. His men were able to locate the snipers and take them out. When the battle was done, hundreds of Taliban were dead, and Galvin hadn’t lost a single man. He calls that moment the proudest he’s ever been of his squad.

Despite having back problems from repeated parachute jumps and dealing with a busted knee and shrapnel still in his legs, Galvin says he wants to re-enlist and return to the battlefield.

Source: WDBO Local News, UCF student with Purple Heart shares his war story, by Marva Hinton, February 19, 2010 7:21 AM. Photo credit: WDBO.