- Associated Press - Monday, November 23, 2015

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) - There’s always a lot of talk about the so-called “Spirit of Aggieland,” but every once in a while, something happens that puts weight behind the words.

Sgt. Kevin Ivey, a 28-year-old Marine Corps veteran, came to College Station with his 6-year-old son, Calvin, in August. All he had was a truck, $200 and a desire to be a Texas Aggie.

He and his son were forced to sleep in their truck for the first two nights in College Station. Ivey was having a hard time finding an apartment that would accept his deposit and income.

The second night, a Texas A&M; University police officer knocked on Ivey’s window and asked him to step out of the car.

Ivey said his mind went straight to the worst-case scenario - something bad was going to happen and the police were going to take his son.

What happened instead, Ivey said, has been overwhelming.

The two officers were both former military, and once they heard Ivey’s story they called their supervisor, who also served in the Marines.

The three officers pooled their money to get Ivey and his son a hotel room for the night. The next day, Ivey found an apartment that would accept him.

“I was kind of ready just to call it quits. Maybe College Station just wasn’t the place for me to be,” Ivey told The Eagle of Bryan-College Station (https://bit.ly/1Yhukn0). “It pumped me up, you know? Got me motivated. … Everything just started coming together.”

Attempts have been made to learn the identities of the police officers who helped Ivey, but they have insisted on remaining anonymous. One University Police Department spokesman said that’s just the type of guys they are.

Others have offered to help Ivey as well, with one former student saying he would buy Ivey’s senior boots and another saying he would buy his Aggie ring.

“This truly showcases what all Aggies already know: That Aggies are a special group of people, bound by a special experience at an exceptional place called Aggieland, and that Aggies take care of Aggies - no matter where they are and no matter what the circumstances,” said Brig. Gen. Joe Ramirez, commandant of the Corps of Cadets. “This whole story and the resulting outpouring of support makes me even prouder to be an Aggie and a veteran.”

Ivey, who has full custody of Calvin, had enrolled at A&M; but could find no student housing or other affordable housing that would accept children.

Now, Ivey is pursuing a degree in agricultural leadership and development. He’s not sure what he wants to do when he graduates, but he’s considering going back to the Marines. He was reluctant to discuss Calvin’s mother but said the boy still has contact with her.

One thing Ivey is passionate about is that he eventually wants a ranch - anywhere between the Hill Country and the Gulf Coast - where he can give back to veterans and kids.

He said he wants to one day be able to offer cheap hunts to combat veterans and free hunts to kids who have lost a parent to war.

In the meantime, Ivey volunteers at his son’s school (Calvin still has contact with his mother) and passes the time in Delta Company - the combat veterans outfit - in the Corps of Cadets.

He said he hopes to one day be an inspiration to his son, who’s right now a little young to understand all the work his dad is doing.

“Hopefully he’ll be like, ‘Man, he stuck it out and he went and he did something greater for himself, and in turn it was greater for him,’” Ivey said. “Hopefully he’ll want to follow in those footsteps.”

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Information from: The Eagle, https://www.theeagle.com

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