The Story of Us: Evan Evans
"Do what makes you happy. Anyone can die at any minute because life is so fragile." This is the main life lesson that 8404 Fleet Marine Corpsman, Evan Evans, has carried with him due to his experiences throughout his Navy career as a medic. Though he is now Inactive Reserve (meaning that though not currently active, under contract he can be called back to the line of duty if needed) at 27, joining the military at 19 has left him with countless eye-opening situations that have shaped him and has lead him to his passion. We are privileged enough to be able to reflect on a few of his experiences when deployed, understand how he ended up at USF, and truly appreciate his presence.
Understanding Life is Fleeting
At 19 with no direction to follow, Evans was provided with a path when he became a military corpsman. The first time that he saved someone's life was during a training operation. A Marine from another battalion was out patrolling in the Mojave Desert and suffered from a heat stroke. When Evans arrived, the soldier had a temperature of 105. He stripped him of his uniform and hooked him up to an IV until the helicopter came and one week later, Evans was notified that the Marine was doing fine."It was a really scary moment for me and it was one of those moments that makes you look at everything differently. It still defines who I am today. I realized how fragile life is and how with proper intervention, you can help someone live and I knew this was something I wanted to stand behind."
During his deployments in Iraq in 2009 and Afghanistan in 2010, he endured countless
more situations that lead him to have more leniency towards medicine. "I'm very passionate
about medicine. There was one moment when my convoy in Afghanistan was blown up and
I had to treat a radio operator who was thrown up in the air during the explosion.
He broke his leg and his heel, which at the time I didn't know was called a calcaneus
bone, but now, I'll never forget it. The heel was completely destroyed and when I
was going through my training, no one ever prepared me for all of the things that
could go wrong."
He states that his drive is now to become a fully prepared healthcare provider so that he can act accordingly in every situation he may come across and never face another situation that he is not prepared for.
Not only has the military enlightened him in his passion, but it has given him a whole new lense to look through. "The military has left me with a 'big picture' of what's going on in the world. Seeing 3rd world countries has helped me empathize with people and it has given me a lot of patience."
From "Bill the Goat" to "Rocky the Bull"
Before attending USF and switching over from the Navy mascot to representing Rocky the Bull, Evans studied at Hawaii Pacific University. Then in order to be closer to family, decided that USF was the school for him. Now in his last year at USF, Evan is majoring in Biomedical Sciences and is training to become a Physician's Assistant. He states that the Office of Veteran Success has helped him through many endeavors, "Jeanine has helped me in my situation in Voc Rehab. She and Jen have given me a lot of advising. I've also been a tutor for almost two years in Chemistry and Algebra. I've met a lot of good people who come into the OVS." He has contributed a lot to the OVS and to his fellow student veterans through tutoring. "The biggest takeaway from tutoring for me has been learning how to better work with people and learning how to explain things to people in different ways, because everyone seems to learn things a little differently than you yourself most likely do."
Life is short...Never Hesitate!
Evan Evans is a primary example of how to take difficult experiences in life and turn them into driving forces that continue to push you forward on your path. His military experiences as a corpsman will undoubtedly make him into a passionate and talented medical practitioner. With his attitude of not taking life for granted, he grants his fellow veterans counsel, "Don't hesitate to ask for help! People here at the OVS are here to put you on your path and can help you build your resume. Don't miss out on opportunities that you can take advantage of because you hesitated."
Here at the University of South Florida's Office of Veterans Success, we are dedicated to providing Veterans, Service members, and their dependents with quality services and opportunities for academic success, professional growth, and meaningful employment. "The Story of Us" series exemplifies the individuals who have served our country and are continuing to do so, setting an example for not only community members and those who support veterans but also fellow veterans who can achieve the same and more.
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