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Veteran shot 13 times in Iraq graduates from MTSU

Jay Strobino (Photos: submitted by Jay Strobino and MTSU)

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- After nearly losing his life while deployed overseas, an army veteran was able to walk the stage and graduate college from MTSU.

Jay Strobino says though it took a while to graduate, the journey has been very fast-paced.

He could have graduated a few semesters ago, he had more than enough credits, but he says he filled out a couple wrong forms and had trouble finding the right offices, so he ended up putting it off.

Now, with the help of the Daniels Veterans Center, he finally did it

“It's like a dream; I mean, it's not real. It doesn't feel real, it doesn't seem real in my body, in my mind,” he said.

But this journey has been far from easy.

Strobino is an Army veteran, and, in 2006, was shot 13 times during one-on-one combat while serving in Iraq.

The entire right side of his body was riddled with bullets.

His company was trying to grab a high-value target, as he described it, someone funding and supplying insurgents, when they were ambushed by a squad.

He said it came down to him and one other person.

“He came back around and he shot me again, and right before he shot me again I was like, ‘this is it.’ That was it, all I could do was roll over and take the brunt of it again.”

After about a year of rehab, he says he's as good as new.

He's also very positive, and says there's definitely more good that came out of this than bad.

“There's no way when I can, you know, be down on myself on a situation like that when I have my limbs, I have my life.”

He says he can't complain because there are too many people who have it much harder than he does.

He currently works at a pharmacy, but he's also done construction, excavation, and land clearing.

On Saturday, he finally received his diploma for a degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Biology.

Strobino hopes to continue his education and go for a master’s degree in Exercise Science.

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