(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Cristobal Davila served his country for eight years. Today, he is helping veterans transition to civilian life at Texas State Technical College.
On a daily basis, Davila, who is a Department of Veterans Affairs school certifying official at TSTC’s Harlingen campus, processes college applications, as well as showing veterans how to apply for GI Bill benefits.
Davila is no stranger to TSTC. After serving three years in the U.S. Army and five years in the Army Reserve, Davila attended TSTC, earning an associate degree in Business Management and a certificate in Automotive Technology.
He said after serving in the military, he knew he had to transition to civilian life.
“I was going to go to school for my future and to provide for my family,” he said. “When I got out of the service, I had no idea what I was going to do. When I had my kids, I knew that I needed to go back to school for them. It was not just about me anymore.”
Davila is now sharing his TSTC story with other veterans. He is noticing a trend in the fields veterans are looking at as a new career.
“They are wanting to go to the technical side of the workforce. Things like cybersecurity, welding and architecture,” he said. “That is just what I have seen from the students I have helped.”
Since he is both a veteran and a TSTC graduate, Davila said it is easy to talk to former service members about going to school.
“It is good to be around my peers. A veteran knows a veteran,” he said. “People know that I understand what they might have gone through. I think it is easier for them to open up to me because I am a veteran.”
Davila said working in TSTC’s Veteran Services department helps fulfill something he has missed since leaving the military.
“I do miss the camaraderie with my fellow service members. I like to hear some of the stories from the combat veterans when they come in,” he said.
Davila said his new position gives him the chance to do something special on a daily basis.
“I like the fact that we have the Veterans Center for them. We have them covered when they are looking to work in the civilian world,” he said.
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.