Veteran graduate’s message hits home

A salute to Sam Hudson, one of 318 students who graduated from Manatee Technical College on June 26. The U.S. Army combat veteran was one of MTC’s commencement speakers and his message had to resonate with the audience.

Hudson is the son of a single mom who worked three jobs to support him and his younger brother.

“There was no time to dream, really,” he said.

A high school dropout at 17, Hudson joined the Army and served two tours in Afghanistan. It was during the second that Hudson was injured and seven comrades were killed.

“I found out how one’s life could change in a matter of seconds,” he said.

Hudson was medically discharged at 30.

“I felt lost,” he said.

Then he enrolled at MTC to learn welding and gained a trade as well as a sense of self-respect.

“In just under a year,” a grateful Hudson said, “my instructors gave me the tools and knowledge to become a useful member of society once again.”

By Vin Mannix