Monday, December 13, 2010

Local College Instructor Joins Navy

Rey Anzaldua Jr., assistant professor of business computer systems at South Texas College, was probably the last person you would think of to sign up for the U.S. Navy. A very busy man, he’s a full-time instructor at STC, has a research lab at The University of Texas-Pan American, is a PhD student, earning his realtor’s license and managing his father’s organic farm in Weslaco -  seems like he has enough on his plate, right?

But the 41 year old father of three felt he could handle another challenge. So he pulled up the anchor and signed his name to the Navy’s dotted line in 2009. A year later, he is an Ensign in the Navy, enjoying the adventures offered by a life less ordinary.

“To date, I have met and worked with U.S. Navy SEALS, Submarine/Deep Water Rescue and submarine crews in San Diego,” said Anzaldua. “The whole experience has been extremely interesting – especially the people.”

Stationed in the Rio Grande Valley, Anzaldua’s primary mission is to act as a liaison between colleges and the Navy to inform students about opportunities in engineering, health-related fields and nuclear careers. He interfaces between the recruiters, administrators, students, civic organizations and politicians in the Valley.

“Dealing with students is something that comes naturally and why I love what I do so much. Funny enough, my recruitment call from the Navy came just after I finished giving a recruitment presentation for the college at Roma High School,” he explained. “It seems like the stars were aligned from the start. And me never being one to back down from a challenge, I thought ‘why not’?”

Anzaldua also acts as a public relations representative for the Navy in the area, participating in parades and military outreach events. But, his future with the service is centered on using his computer forensics skills to their fullest. The co-author of “Computer Forensics for Dummies,” Anzaldua brings extensive knowledge and experience to the military asset list.

“Right now, I am enjoying my entry-level work in the Navy and pushing hard to complete my PhD studies,” he said. “Once I graduate, my career in the Navy will take a different, fast-paced direction. The future of war is not really on the ground – it’s in technology and communication systems. I look forward to using my skills to serve my country and keep us all safe in the future.”

In the mean time, Anzaldua continues to make it through 20 hour days at times, but he knows the hard work will reap more opportunities and blessings in the future.

“Yeah, it may seem like a like to put on your plate, but you only have one life to live so you had better make the most of it,” he concluded. “That’s my message to anyone who says, ‘why is he working on so many projects and at the same time?’ Just like the Navy says, life is an adventure and I am up for the ride. I invite any hard-working men and women who want to taste a full life to join me.”

Photo caption:
Rey Anzaldua Jr., assistant professor of business computer systems at South Texas College, signs up for U.S. Navy.

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