March 23, 2016//
Meet Tyler Wynne. This UTSA student is a 10-year veteran of the U.S Navy. He now serves his fellow student veterans with the same sense of duty and purpose with which he served his country.
The people at UTSA who serve veterans have a big heart for it. There's a large network of support that has been invaluable for those of us who proudly served our country. We're working together to create the best environment for student veterans to succeed.”
– Tyler WynneUTSA student and veteran
Wynne, 28, has been the president of the Student Veterans Association (SVA) since 2014. The organization advocates for student veterans, their families and service members at UTSA. In this role, he has worked tirelessly to develop connections and help veterans make a smooth transition to civilian life.
Wynne's desire to help veterans blossomed during his time in the U.S. Navy, during which he saw combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"I grew up in a very patriotic family," said Wynne, remembering his upbringing in Katy, Texas. "I was instilled with the desire to help my country. We were at war at the time, and I remember wanting to earn the ground I walked on."
In the military, Wynne learned to value structure, brotherhood and strong leadership. As a student at UTSA, several years later, he's actively sought out others with the same values. That brought him to UTSA and the SVA.
"The biggest benefit of being in the military is the access you gain to strong leaders and mentors and the camaraderie," Wynne said. "You have people around you who understand who you are and what you're going through. That understanding is what helped me transition to academic life, and I owe it to the people who have trained and guided me to do the same for others."
Over the last two years, the SVA has focused extensively on creating a strong support network for UTSA veterans, which includes a new peer-to-peer mentorship program that, Wynne says, has been a big success. He meets regularly with stakeholders of UTSA's many veteran support services and organizations by sitting on the UTSA Veteran Services Committee to discuss issues affecting veterans at UTSA and across the nation.
A junior physics major, Wynne spends countless hours studying the physics, astronomy and mathematical concepts that he hopes will help him secure a job at NASA after he graduates in 2017. Since childhood, he has dreamed of working for NASA in some capacity.
"To tell the truth, I've always wanted to be an astronaut," Wynne said. "Space is the last frontier that needs to be explored. I want to do my part to expand our understanding of the universe."
But even as he prepares for a career in the sciences and possibly space, the active reservist remains committed to protecting his country here on Earth, should the need arise.
"I would serve again in a heartbeat, if my country needed me," Wynne said. "It's just who I am."
Wynne is passing on the duties of SVA president at the end of April. He is proud of the organization's success over the last year
"The people at UTSA who serve veterans have a big heart for it," Wynne said. "There's a large network of support that has been invaluable for those of us who proudly served our country. We're working together to create the best environment for student veterans to succeed."
Do you know someone at UTSA who is achieving great things? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we might consider your submission for an upcoming installment of Meet a Roadrunner.