(WACO, Texas) – Discipline acquired from military service plays an important role in Texas State Technical College student Edward Hernandez’s day.
“I know I need to wake up at 5 a.m. so I’m not late,” said Hernandez of Killeen. “I work everything around school.”
Hernandez grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and was a member of the U.S. Army for 20 years.
In between Auto Collision and Management Technology classes, Hernandez fits in lunch and does homework at the campus Veteran Services Center.
“This is therapy for me, being at school,” he said. “I want to go to work.”
Hernandez started this semester working on a certificate in Auto Collision Repair.
“Painting a car is like painting a picture,” he said. “It’s art.”
Tracy Marshall, senior instructor in the Auto Collision and Management Technology program, said Hernandez brings insight to class discussions.
“He is not afraid to comment,” Marshall said. “You can tell he has a general interest in learning. He is very quick to learn.”
Hernandez is among the fifth generation of family members who joined the Army. His great-grandfather fought in World War II, his grandfather took part in the Korean War, his father was part of the Vietnam War, and Hernandez had two deployments to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Hernandez’s son is currently in the Army.
“Joining the Army is a good job, plus you can retire early,” Hernandez said.
He learned about TSTC by searching online for auto collision and repair programs.
“I always wanted to learn to paint cars,” he said. “When I decided to do it, I wanted to learn to paint and repair. I have always loved cars.”
Hernandez graduated in December from TSTC with a certificate in Auto Collision Refinishing.
His goal after finishing college is to work at a restoration shop.
For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to tstc.edu.