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June 14 has special meaning for three TSTC Paramedic students

Odessa American - 6/12/2024

Jun. 12—ABILENE — For many people, June 14 is observed as Flag Day. For three Texas State Technical College Paramedic students, the date has added meaning.

U.S. Army veterans David Aman, Sarah Franklin and Shawn James take a few minutes every year to celebrate June 14 as the birthday of their military branch. On June 14, 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the enlistment of expert riflemen to serve the United Colonies for one year — the beginning of what is now known as the U.S. Army.

"I remember having to stand on the honor fields each June 14 to celebrate the Army's birthday," Franklin, a four-year Army veteran, said in a news release.

Aman served as a nuclear weapons maintenance technician, Franklin was a combat medic, and James was an armored reconnaissance specialist.

Aman said he was pleased to serve the United States, but his decision to retire was easy after more than nine years stationed mostly in Germany.

"I loved what I did, but I could not get assignments stateside," he said.

Franklin knew from an early age that she would join the military. She wanted to incorporate her second career choice of emergency medicine at the same time.

"My high school science teacher invited a paramedic to speak to our class, and it was like heaven's door opened to a career," she said. "I knew then that I wanted to work as a medic in the military."

James also spent time in Europe and took advantage of his downtime to tour the continent.

"When we were not training, we would visit Spain, Italy or Switzerland," he said in the release. "There were a lot of opportunities like that for us."

Prior to enrolling at TSTC, the three veterans had been first responders at one time or another. Franklin's experience was in the Army, while James was a paramedic in Kansas before moving to Texas.

Aman had been a paramedic in Texas, but his nonmedical job relocated him to Georgia. When he returned to Texas, he wanted to renew his lapsed paramedic license.

"My first merit badge as a Boy Scout was first aid," he said. "Throughout my life, being a paramedic was the only job I really missed."

In celebrating the Army's birthday together, the TSTC students have built a lasting friendship.

"All military veterans share a camaraderie," Aman said.

According to onetonline.org, the need for paramedics in Texas was expected to grow 19% between 2020 and 2030.

In its Emergency Medical Services program, TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Paramedic, as well as certificates of completion in Emergency Medical Services — EMT, Emergency Medical Services — Advanced EMT AEMT and Emergency Medical Services — Paramedic. The program is available at the Abilene, Brownwood and Harlingen campuses.

Registration for TSTC's fall semester is underway. Learn more at tstc.edu.

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