Student Veterans of America

Merlin Quiles

by Friends & Family of Merlin Quiles

On April 14, 2015, SSG Merlin Alexander Quiles, our brother and comrade, performed his last act of valor.  It was his wish that his organs be donated in the event of his death.

At 9:30 p.m. friends and family gathered in the halls of the Ben Taub ICU.  We were there to stand guard for Merlin.   The halls were filled with stories of Merlin, “… how he managed to get one friend out of his comfort zone at the bar.” Others spoke of their trip to Destin, Florida during Spring Break. All the while, seeking comfort.  There were bursts of laughter amidst the moments of sorrow.

At approximately 10:00 pm, more than 67 friends and family members closed ranks  and saluted as Merlin’s family ushered him to the operating room.  Merlin was draped with the American Flag.  At the door of the OR, Merlin’s siblings handed the flag to members of 10th Mountain Division. They folded the flag and presented it to his nephew.  Merlin crossed the threshold and we all said goodbye.

Merlin was a good man who’s reach was worldwide and timeless.  How awesome that his gift of life will continue to impact our world.

As of 1:00 pm, we have reached 30 percent of our goal within our first day!  Please give what you can, and please continue to share the link along to your family and friends. As mentioned before, every little bit helps. And please keep the Quiles family in your thoughts and/or prayers during this time.


Student Veterans of America (SVA) at the University of Houston represents the 1,000-plus student veterans, active duty military students, Reserve and National Guard students, their spouses and dependents and any University of Houston student interested in bettering the campus experience of veterans.

Membership is open to anyone who wants to make a difference and improve the conditions and quality of life for student veterans. We strive to ensure student veterans have a voice within the campus community. SVA operates out of the Veterans Services office at the University of Houston. The SVA works in conjunction with VS and supports and staffs various events throughout the year.

Members of SVA include students from every major and discipline at the University of Houston. Our mission is to provide a network for student veterans at the University of Houston to provide academic and personal support, access to benefits, and cooperation with government agencies and organizations at all levels.

SVA holds three general meetings each semester, where officers, members, and guests discuss the current and most important issues of student veterans and ways to improve their college experience. Also discussed are current organizational events and future events. Elections to fill the six officer positions are held every April.

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