The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Free iPads for Post-9/11 veterans go unwanted

By Bobby Martinez/@bmartinez203

Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s Patriots’ Casa reserves 100 iPads for newly enrolled Post-9/11 GI Bill benefit students, yet less than a third are checked out.

Richard Delgado, director of military community development and Army ROTC, along with other administrators at Patriots’ Casa, agree the iPad rental program will aid in the continuing education for Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefit students.

“Our sole mission is to make it easier for our [military community students] to graduate,” Delgado said.

The majority of iPads remain unused for a few reasons. To start, some Post-9/11 GI Bill students do not know about the iPad program. Timothy L. Smith Jr., military community liaison, said other students come from community colleges or other universities with iPads or other devices. Also, as students graduate they must turn them in. Ten students returned their iPads in Fall 2014 at the time of graduation.

To take advantage of resources, military students must be Post-9/11 students.

Post-9/11 students are any members of the student body who served in the military for a total of 90 days after Sept. 10, 2001 or 30 continuous days for disability members who were honorably discharged. Benefits can be transferred to the veteran’s spouse or children.

Other requirements for checking out the iPads include:

  • The student must be newly enrolled;
  • The student must maintain a grade point average of 2.5 as an undergraduate and 3.0 as a graduate student;
  • The student must be considered full-time and enroll in at least one class during the summer

Delgado said the VA allowed his department to freeze benefits if the Post-9/11 students do not return the iPads. That control measure allows Delgado to penalize students who do not return the equipment owned by Patriots’ Casa.

Joshua Riley, special education junior and Post-9/11 benefit student, said he would have used the services had he known about it.

“I did not know about the program,” Riley said. “I just recently purchased a personal laptop, but if I would have known about it, I would have used it.”

Students who qualify for an iPad rental can visit the Patriots’ Casa or contact Timothy L. Smith Jr. at (210) 784-1174.

iPad Rental Program for Non Post-9/11 Students

A&M-San Antonio has a similar program that all students can benefit from. Students pay $40 per semester and $20 during the summer for the A&M-San Antonio’s iPad Rental Program. Students can pick up a user agreement form from the E-Book Support Office in Room 206 at the Brooks Campus or download the form and email to

About the Author

Bobby Martinez
Bobby Martinez is a staff writer for The Mesquite. Bobby is a communications-journalism sociology minor. In 2014, he graduated from Palo Alto College with an associates in communication with an emphasis in public relations. Prior to attending school he was an intelligence analyst in the U.S. Navy for four years. Bobby is seeking a career in public relations. He has an interest in technology, the outdoors and student engagement.

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