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Edwin Alburquerque: The Veteran Connection

Profile, Student, Veteran and Military


 

Published:

November 9, 2016
Tagged: University College, Adelphi University
 

Edwin Alburquerque: The Veteran Connection

Profile, Student, Veteran and Military


 

In June 1983, Edwin Alburquerque traded his first free summer out of high school for basic training to earn a place among the U.S. Marine Corps. At 17, he took The Oath of Enlistment and launched into six years of service as an infantryman and an expert pistol and rifleman among a unit of fellow soldiers. He was honorably discharged as a corporal.

One of eight children, Alburquerque was born in the Dominican Republic before emigrating with his family to New York when he was 10.

“I had an enormous sense of appreciation for the opportunity this country gave my family in allowing us to come here,” he said, “I thought by joining the military I could gain some experience; see some of the world and still save some money for college. It was a way to give back while ensuring my education.”

The transition from soldier to civilian life wasn’t, and still isn’t, simple. He followed a passion for athletics to become a personal trainer to ease his transition into a civilian lifestyle. Alburquerque knows full well the kind of hardship every service member must go through.

“The military can play a number on you that you don’t even realize until later on,” Alburquerque said. “You’re taught to ignore pain and use aggression. Sometimes you shut feelings out that you don’t know how to turn back on. You need a transition that’s good for your personal and family life.”

Edwin Alburquerque with his daughter, Ariela.

Though he enjoys training his clients toward a healthier lifestyle, he had never found an educational opportunity that allowed him to excel in his work and focus on advanced studies. But then he was introduced to Adelphi.

Marsha Bazelais and Christina Wease, his advisers at Adelphi’s University College, helped him cultivate a sense of belonging. “They’ve been an enormous sense of strength for me, and I’ve come across so many great professors,” he said. “They’re engaging. I’m so impressed.”

The guidance Alburquerque has received from his advisers and professors continues to help him channel his skills toward his current goal in becoming a nurse in an emergency or trauma setting.

“I don’t panic easily and I tend to de-escalate situations,” he said. “A smooth manner of speech and soft approach, I believe, can have a good impact.”

He’s currently finishing up University College prerequisites before entering the B.S. in Nursing program. In the meantime, he aims to connect with service members and students on campus by resurrecting the Veterans Club at Adelphi. Whether that’s two or three guys working out or picking up a game here and there, Alburquerque hopes to spread a sense of belonging that he’s found on campus.

“The guys that I served with, we were truly brothers,” Alburquerque said. “Regardless of race or background, we looked out for one another and were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for each other. The better we played together, the more unified we were, the deeper the impact we could make.

“I’m looking to be a positive influence on people, and I’m looking for people to be a positive influence on me,” he added. “Veterans or regular students, what’s important is that we connect with each other. Period.”

For more information on the Veteran’s Club, or if in need of a simple connection, send an email to edwinalburquerque@mail.adelphi.edu.

 
Tagged: University College, Adelphi University
 
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