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Following the family tradition

imagesnov10_page_3_image_0001Senior Social Work major Kristen Hurst is a dedicated and compassionate individual. She is currently serving in the United States Reserves as a 1st. Class Petty Officer.

From a young age, Hurst grew up wanting to be in the military. With her grandfather having served in the Army during World War II and her father having served in the Marines during the Vietnam War, Hurst is a third generation military member. She was on active duty in the Navy for four years and has been in the Reserves for eight.

When asked about some of her favorite memories during her service, Hurst stated that the best part was traveling all over the world and “going to different countries and experiencing amazing cultures.” Some of the places that she has been include Afghanistan, Mexico, Singapore, Bahrain, Dubai, Australia, Tasmania, Japan and Sicily.

After her time in active duty, Hurst came to the college that she had wanted to go to ever since high school. The prospect of being a part of a highly regarded social work program as well as having known friends who had come here all led to Hurst choosing TWU as the place for her. She said: “I liked that the campus is a smaller school. It’s also really nice that we [veterans] have a lot of social support here on campus and through the association. It’s hard for some people transitioning out of the military especially if they don’t have any social support.” Other than being involved, one of Hurst’s favorite things to do is relax in the hammocks outside of Fit & Rec.

Hurst has been a member of the Student Veterans Association for a few years now. The students who are a part of this organization have the opportunity to connect with those who have similar life experiences. Hurst is really grateful that the organization and the Veteran and Military Student Center now exist because until they opened: “I felt alone. Now, I have a place to go and meet other people and share experiences.”

Hurst loves being a part of the association and says that it is a really important organization that links student veterans together and helps serve veterans in the community. It also helps veterans understand how to utilize their military benefits wisely, something that Hurst says: “I didn’t know how to use my benefits so it would have been really beneficial to me had I known.”

After she graduates from TWU, Hurst plans on getting her Masters in Social Work from UTA. She then plans to go back to active duty in the Navy, as a social worker helping military personnel. Hurst believes, “it is important for veterans to go into a helping field.”

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