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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 23, 2024

The No. 3 Texas A&M baseball team took on No. 1 Tennessee Thursday at 1 p.m. at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, Alabama. Despite its...

Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

Aggie war vet suits up for Cotton Bowl

When the phone rings, Jessica Amstutz, Class of 2000, knows there’s a good chance the caller might be asking for her husband, Josh, a Marine, to return to Iraq to fight.
Josh Amstutz, a junior speech communication major and A&M football player who turned 24 on Monday, was wounded in April of 2003 after being shot above the knee by a sniper outside Baghdad.
Amstutz’s unit was one of the first deployed to Iraq – even before the war started – and served as part of the invasion force, which he described as being “a chance to put four years of training into being able to actually do something.”
“I support the war and when I was (in Iraq), Iraqi people gave me the thumbs up and said ‘Go Bush,'” Amstutz said. “I was there for the people there to help free them from the dictator.”
Mrs. Amstutz recalls getting the phone call about her husband’s injury one afternoon from the Marine Corps Mobilization Command while she was staying at her mother’s house during his deployment.
“(The person on the phone said) ‘Ma’am, we want you to know that your husband is alive, but he has been shot by a sniper,'” Mrs. Amstutz said. “I just fell back into a chair. You never want to get that phone call.”
The couple, who have been married for three years, said the call was also a blessing because it meant he could come home. She said that just before receiving the call, she had been writing in her prayer journal asking God to bring him home quickly.
“I still have my prayer journal too,” Mrs. Amstutz said. “It’s so cool to go back and read and see how God has provided for us.”
After being evacuated to a hospital in Kuwait, Amstutz was flown to Spain and eventually back to base in Bethesda, Md. Three months later, he returned home where he spent time working out his leg so he could play football.
“I’ve always wanted to play football but Marine Corps service to my country came first,” Amstutz said.
Amstutz, a first-year walk-on for the A&M football team, went to his first Cotton Bowl game on Jan. 1, and despite not being able to play during that game, he hopes to someday earn that privilege. He said that he does not get any special treatment because of his service – no one knew he had fought in Iraq until after he made the team.
“I feel that the guys treat me with more respect because of my service to the country,” Amstutz said. “There’s so much support from the school. The school is actually building officers of tomorrow.”
Amstutz said he would like to return to Iraq, and Jessica said she is glad that her husband consults with her before volunteering himself. So far, Amstutz has received three calls to see if he would volunteer.
“(The last time he got a call regarding his service) I had that look in my eye … I had this feeling, like, ‘Not again!'” Mrs. Amstutz said. “I dread them calling us again. Josh is so patriotic … he did get off the phone and say, ‘I really did want to volunteer.’ I said, ‘You’re killing me – you’re playing football at A&M and you want to volunteer?'”
Kent Mayfield, a freshman aerospace engineering major, one of Amstutz’s teammates and one of his good friends, said being around Amstutz has made him more appreciative of the sacrifices soldiers make. Mayfield feels that soldiers like Josh can give a more in-depth view of what is going in the war; however, Amstutz doesn’t talk about his experiences very often.
“(Josh) doesn’t like to talk about the fact that he had to kill people,” Mayfield said. “He’ll tell you what it was like and the scary parts, and that it was like ‘Saving Private Ryan.'”
Mayfield said that Amstutz needs to adapt his running style to football, instead of how he was taught to run in the Marines; the two styles differ in the manner in which arms are used, because Marines have to take into account that they are holding a gun and can’t move their arms.
Amstutz said he would like to return to fight in Iraq, and Mayfield hopes that he gets to finish college first. Mrs. Amstutz doesn’t want him to return to fighting, but said she “couldn’t be a prouder wife” than to be sending her husband to fight for America.
“I can’t understand that patriotism,” she said. “He’s got it, and I can’t help but say go for it. I don’t want to be one of those wives that holds their husbands back.”

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