Dylan Meadows is a junior in premedicine/medical technology from Martinsville, Indiana.
Service then: Dylan joined the National Guard when he was 17, was called to active duty in 2007, and served a combat tour in Iraq, in the Sunni Triangle near Al-Quayyarah. He was wounded when his vehicle was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on September 13, 2008.
Service now: Dylan is president of the Purdue Veterans Student Organization. “The group is small, so we’re trying to get our feet on the ground.”
Tradition of service: “My grandfather was in the Navy, we kind of go back… My dad (Army) was in the Persian Gulf (war) and in Operation Iraqi Freedom as well. He put in 21 years.”
Why Purdue? “Why not! When you become a disabled veteran, pretty much your world opens up for education, and if I wanted to I could go almost anyplace. If Purdue had a medical school, I would stay here. I’ve never really considered another school, ever. There is no other option in my eyes.”
Course corrections: Dylan, who was halfway through the aeronautical engineering program at Purdue when he was called up, says being wounded overseas influenced his career plans in more ways than one. He now wants to work in internal medicine in order to help other veterans, particularly those with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), at the Department of Veterans Affairs. “I’ve had to go through a lot of rehabilitation for that — and the way I’ve been rehabilitated through the VA has kind of inspired me.”
Advice to new student veterans: “Reach out to the faculty and staff, as things have definitely improved over my time here. Don’t be afraid to talk to people, and definitely don’t be afraid to ask for help… and join my group!”
By Blake Powers