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Sep 4, 2012 10:30 AM by Samantha Ptashkin

Battles to Books: Meet this year's UA Tillman Military Scholars

TUCSON- The 2012-2013 University of Arizona Tillman Military Scholars are studying to serve their country once again, this time as doctors.

Bryce Bodell and Kent Martin share a much different past than most of their fellow medical students.

Martin served 11 years in the Air Force, traveling all over the world.

Bodell enlisted in the Army in 2001, serving in the First Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.

They are just two of the 230 Tillman Military Scholars across the country this year.

The scholarship is named in honor of Pat Tillman. He's a former Arizona Cardinals player, who joined the army after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and later died while serving in Afghanistan. "When I found out I was a Tillman Military Scholar I was definitely proud," Bodell says.

The scholarship is funded by private donations and community sponsors. It provides much needed financial assistance to our active and veteran service members attending school. But Bodell and Martin say it's much more. "The biggest benefit I found is being able to be connected to like minded individuals with that same military skill set," Martin says.

Both students have a passion for making a difference. Martin helped start a medical veteran's club at the University of Arizona. Bodell volunteers his time at local medical clinics. "This is just the ultimate opportunity to take advantage of all those experiences I've learned," Bodell says.

Both know they have a long road ahead until they earn the title of "Doctor". "Five years from now I'll be in residency, working 80 plus hours a week," Martin says.

But as soldiers, they know it's a road they're ready to travel. "If the military does one thing, it shows you that you can always put yourself through more and still come out on top," Martin says.

Over the past four years the Tillman Foundation has awarded more than $3-million to military scholars across the country.

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