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  Former Sniper Eyes Medical School

'You kept my dreams alive'

January 03, 2017

Brian Nibbelink, 30, of Rock Valley, Iowa, was a sniper in the Army and served a year in Iraq. After five years on active duty and two and a half in the Reserves, Nibbelink worked as a security contractor in Iraq for three years.

“The military helped me mature in many aspects of my life,” said Nibbelink. “I’m more driven and ambitious because of my time in the Army.” 

Now that Nibbelink is once again a civilian, he’s using that drive to pursue a career in medicine. A VFW “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship” helped him graduate from the University of Denver with a major in biology and minors in psychology and chemistry. 

“I was actually considering quitting school because of my financial troubles,” said Nibbelink. “I am married with two daughters and when my GI Bill benefits ran out, I had no idea how I was going to pay for school and raise a family.” 

Now that Nibbelink has his degree, he’s busy applying for pharmacy and medical school. 

“I am hoping to either be a pharmacist or doctor one day,” said Nibbelink. “If I get accepted to medical school, I hope to become a psychiatrist. I saw a lot of mental issues in the people I deployed with, and there was nothing I could do about it—I felt helpless. Now I will have the training to help these people.” 

Nibbelink is grateful for the scholarship that kept his education on track.

“You kept my dreams alive,” said Nibbelink. “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Photo courtesy of Brian Nibbelink.