“I started out when I was just out of high school,” explained Blalock of Cleora, Oklahoma. “I did four years active duty in the Navy and then jumped ship and moved to the Army, which is much more my style. Now I’m an infantryman in the Oklahoma National Guard.”

Blalock learned about the scholarship opportunity through OSU’s Veteran Student Services program. Oneok created the scholarship to recognize the needs of OSU military students seeking degrees. Military students qualify based on their good work ethic, persistence and dedication to working toward their future success. Sponsored by Oneok, this is the second year OSU has awarded the scholarship.

“They send out monthly emails to update you about what the veteran community here at Oklahoma State is doing,” continued Blalock. “One email had the scholarship attached to it and I went ahead and applied. The Oneok Scholarship means an incredible amount to me. Being a veteran I am very fortunate to be part of a brotherhood and sisterhood that has been established since the beginning of the country. And to be able to receive a scholarship that is specifically for veterans is an amazing opportunity not only for me but for our school as well. The fact that I’m in the veterinary program now I think speaks abundantly for these companies wanting to promote higher education in veterans, which is an incredibly important part of moving forward after life in the military.”

Blalock considers himself a “late bloomer” as far as deciding on a career in veterinary medicine.

“Most people in my class decided when they were knee high to a grasshopper that they wanted to be a veterinarian,” he said. “It wasn’t until I was 16 and in high school about ready to graduate that I actually decided I wanted to be a veterinarian.”

During his third year of veterinary college, Blalock wants to reenlist as an infantryman, which will help with some of his tuition loan repayments. Following graduation, Blalock plans to go back to the veterinary hospital where he previously worked.

“It’s a mixed animal practice in Fairland, which is located in the very northeast corner of Oklahoma,” said Blalock. “I’m very fortunate to be have the opportunity to go back there."

About OSU'S Center for Veterinary Health Sciences

OSU’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences is one of 30 veterinary colleges in the United States and the only veterinary college in Oklahoma. The center’s Boren Veterinary Medical Hospital is open to the public and provides routine and specialized care for small and large animals. The Hospital offers 24-hour emergency care and is certified by the American Animal Hospital Association. For more information, visit www.cvhs.okstate.edu or call (405) 744-7000.

About Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. OSU has more than 34,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 24,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and around 100 nations. Established in 1890, Oklahoma State has graduated more than 275,000 students to serve the state of Oklahoma, the nation, and the world.