Discover Your Island

Benjamin Leal

An Outstanding Islander

Outline photo of Benjamin Leal

Keeping the Islander Spirit

Sgt. Benjamin Leal has represented Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi across the Middle East by proudly waving his Islander spirit flag up high for others to see.

University President Flavius Killebrew presented Leal, a member of the U.S. Army Active Reserve, who was Iraq-bound with the Islander spirit flag for serving his country. Among the places Leal has shown off his flag was at Camps Victory, Liberty, and Stryker in Baghdad, Iraq, from November 2009-August 2010. He has also taken his flag to Kuwait City at the Kuwaiti Naval Base and Camp Arifjan, as well as Camp Virginia, Camp Buerin, and Camp Doha, all located in Kuwait.

“I’ve been to a lot of neat places where I’ve displayed the University’s flag,” said Leal. “An A&M-Corpus Christi alumnus even came up to me at Saddam Hussein's bathhouse palace and was overwhelmed to see me with the flag.”

After graduating from the Island University in December 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Leal was deployed to Baghdad in December 2009, where he worked in logistics supply, fuel farm, and operations. He returned to the United States in 2010 at Fort Hood, Texas, and transitioned back to his 211th RSG unit in Corpus Christi, Texas.

“I love what I do,” said Leal. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with good leaders and mentors that taught me leadership skills. Now I get to pass those skills down to the younger soldiers, and show them what a leader is.”

Currently, Leal serves as the Colonel’s Driver in the U.S. Army Reserve. As a soldier, Leal says he has learned to appreciate the people around him, and is grateful that his job gives him the opportunity to meet with everyday people and exchange life experiences with them and their families.

After 26 years of service with the U.S. Army Reserve, Leal says he still has not completed his military career. The passion he has for his country drives him to want to re-enlist for three more years before retiring. Leal says it’s never too late to go back to school. After he has completed his duty with the military, he plans to return to the Island University to continue his master’s education.

Leal deployed with the 812th QM Co. from Harlingen, Texas, and he says he is humbly honored to have served with such brave soldiers.

“I lastly want to thank my Mom and family for their love and support; their prayers got me through the deployment,” said Leal.