If families are the most important thing in life, then what happens when a new father juggles a wife, a child, a full-time job and school at the same time?
Adam Winkenweder might have the answer. He is currently a senior at Texas Wesleyan and is taking 18 hours in business management. He is married, has a small daughter and a full-time job. But the one thing that makes Winkenweder unique is that he is also a veteran of the United States Armed Forces.
“I enjoyed what I did and had a fun time doing it, but to me family comes first,” Winkenweder said. “That is why I got out.”
Winkenweder said he started taking classes at Wesleyan in 2010. He is currently due to graduate in May. Winkenweder said he averaged between 12 and 15 hours during the regular semester and worked 40 plus hours per week.
Winkenweder’s best friend Jeremiah Johnson, a Wesleyan student, agrees. “Going back to school after the Army feels like the cover for the movie Billy Madison, in which Adam Sandler is sitting in a kindergarten class,” Johnson said. “Having a family while going back to school is incredibly difficult.”
Winkenweder said juggling school and family can be difficult Winkenweder said having three major obligations at the same time, means some things must suffer sometimes. “It is hard to tell your 2-year-old that I am studying and she can’t play with Daddy, Winkenweder said.
Adam Winkenweder’s wife is Bethany Winkenweder. She is a graduate admissions counselor at Wesleyan.
“Financially, the Post 9-11 G.I. Bill encouraged him to go back to school,” Winkenweder said. “Prior to starting school he worked at the pickle factory making $8.50 per hour.”
Bethany encouraged her husband to take advantage of the living stipend that comes from using the post 9-11 GI Bill.
“He took advantage of it, and now look at him– he is about to graduate,” Bethany said.
She said that Adam’s school and work has been a challenge for the family.
“He’s busy at school all the time, and so I’m left to juggling work and the baby and make sure that everything is lined up,”
Bethany said. “Sometimes he doesn’t have a chance to see his daughter, but that it will all be worth it in the end.”
Adam served four and a half years in the US Army. He was assigned to the 1st Brigade, 1-15th BSB.
“It was a support Battalion,” Adam said. “We supported all combat units within the brigade and the unit.”
Adam was deployed to Camp Taji, Iraq two separate times.
“During my second deployment I was assigned to my company commander’s security detail,” Adam said. “In my spare time though, I was helping other soldiers get their education.”
Adam said his efforts helped soldiers to obtain a college degree later.
So how does Adam Winkenweder juggle a full time job, a wife, a kid, and 18 hours of school?
“With a lot of coffee,” Bethany said “A lot of coffee and Monster energy drinks.”