|Lt. Kevin Petit|
Petit, who graduated from the University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in biology with a minor in military science, died in a single vehicle crash Tuesday, Dec. 13. It is believed the 27-year-old suffered a seizure resulting from a brain tumor just before the accident.
The McAllen native was deployed to Iraq from 2009-2010, where his platoon provided convoy support for other troops and civilians.
Petit was the recipient of the MacArthur Award, which is given only to a handful of the Army's best leaders.
Earlier this year he began working as an assistant professor of military science at UTPA's ROTC, where he challenged students to do their best and inspired them with his positive outlook on life.
"Lt. Petit was a real professional," Lt. Col. Maricela Alvarado, department of military science chair of UTPA's ROTC, told The Pan American student newspaper. "He was a mentor for our cadets. He always saw life as the glass was half full and didn't let any obstacle get him down."
Petit is survived by his wife, Ashley.
A viewing will be held at Ric Brown Family Funeral Home in Mission from 1-9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, with a prayer service at 7 p.m. Petit's funeral will be at 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 19 at Baptist Temple in McAllen.