“Since the day I turned north [Texas] 6, my soul was in pain for Texas A&M, ”he said Thursday.
He joined the United States Marine Corps and began training in the summer of 1966 and was in Vietnam in September, he said. He spent about two years there. After his release from the Marines in 1968, Compton became a police officer. He worked 27 years in the highway patrol, he said, then served four four-year terms as Cooke County sheriff, beginning in January 1997.
Over the years, Compton has continued to support Texas A&M and has continued to think about how he might come back as a student.
“The spirit of Aggieland is more than just a song. My heart stayed with Texas A&M, ”Compton said. “My heart was never satisfied with my performance.”
In the spring of 2018, after his tenure as sheriff ended, he began taking online courses.
“It took me a long time, but I finally made it out of academic probation,” Compton said Thursday with a chuckle.
Along with his wife, Lynne, and children, Compton credited a group of men – Compton’s comrades during his early years at A&M – with pushing him to succeed and graduate.
“This group of men gave me the inspiration to want to finish something that I started 50 years ago. They were at the heart of the effort, and my wife was the soul, because I need a lot of study to get there, ”he said.