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Textbook Lending Library aims to help veterans at Texas A&M

(KBTX)
Published: Feb. 2, 2016 at 2:43 PM CST
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As the number of veterans going to Texas A&M continues to grow, so does the effort to help them along the way. There's an on-campus program doing it one textbook at a time.

Tucked away inside a corner of the Veteran Resource Center on campus, you'll find the lending library. It's designed to give back to those who've given so much for our country.

Aggie Shields President Andre Juarez says, "We started here in this room with just a shelf or two and now we have over 600 textbooks."

Those books are all ready and waiting to be checked out, for free, by veterans who now students.

Juarez says, "They come and pick out a book. There should be a code inside it. They type it in and then they check out the textbook and then we'll send them reminders to return it to us."

There are currently about 50 vets using the library, veterans like Robert Rubio.

"I served as a Navy corpsman in the medical field in the Marine Corps. I decided I wanted to become a doctor, came here to Texas A&M, pre-med track. I'm a sophomore."

He's been checking out books ever since he came to A&M, and he plans to keep doing it until he graduates.

"The G.I. Bill is great. It covers a lot, but it doesn't cover as much as people think it does. When books are about $400 apiece, it kind of makes it difficult to get everything you need, especially if you're taking a full course load. I can say in the last two semesters, this library has saved me more than $600."

The library is a program through Aggie Shields, a student-run service organization.

Juarez says, "It means a lot just knowing that we're giving back in some way. Even if it's as small as giving them textbooks for the semester. Knowing that that goes a long way in their lives."

Rubio says, "I'm thankful everyday. I tell Andre all the time how thankful I am, and I know other veterans are too because they're just amazed something like this exists."

While they are able to buy a few new textbooks every semester, Aggie Shields relies primarily on students donating their old textbooks.

If you have books you'd like to donate, you can stop by the Veteran Resource Center in Koldus, Monday - Friday from 8 to 5.

You can also donate money online at

.

If you're a veteran who wants to use the library, you can do that by going to

.