Two students were selected as Tillman Military Scholars for the 2012-2013 school year in honor of their military service and desire to give back to the veteran community.
The scholarship is granted through the Tillman Military Foundation and encourages veterans to earn degrees and give back to the veteran community.
U.S. History senior Casaundra Wallace, an army veteran, will study at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in the fall. Graduate student Chad Waltz, an Air National Guard member, is working toward his Master’s degree at the School of Social Work.
When she was 12, Wallace decided she would join the military and enlisted in the army right after high school.
She said growing up watching Desert Storm on television really spoke to her.
“It was the most fascinating thing in the world to me, just seeing these people who knew nothing about where they were going and the people they were going to help,” Wallace said.
She said joining the military was by far the greatest thing she had ever done in her life.
“I joined to answer that need to serve something bigger than myself,” Wallace said. “I miss (the army) every day.”
She said though there’s money involved with being named a Tillman Military Scholar, she would give it up just to be part of the Tillman Military Foundation and give back to the veteran community.
Waltz chose to join the military in light of both of his grandfathers’ and his father’s service.
He said he missed the support networks he developed in the military.
“It’s that band of brothers or that band of sisters that through all trials, adversities, stress and trauma … carries you through,” Waltz said. “It’s that network that I miss.”
He said his military service is a vital part of who he is.
Waltz said he’s excited to work with the Pat Tillman Foundation and act as an ambassador to the veteran community.
“(The scholarship is) a big deal for anybody that’s in the military community,” Waltz said. “For them to know you’re a Pat Tillman Scholar, they get it.”
He said he was very proud and humbled to be named a Pat Tillman Scholar.
Pat Tillman Veterans Center spokesman Chris Rauschenbach was one of the members involved in the Tillman Military Scholar selection process.
Rauschenbach said the committee had to select 10 of the 42 applicants to send on to the Pat Tillman Foundation, at which point Wallace and Waltz were selected.
He said Wallace’s and Waltz’s passion to give back to the community made them ideal candidates for the award.
“Chad is involved in Vets 4 Vets and providing an organization of support for (veterans) so they can get together and talk about (combat-related trauma),” Rauschenbach said. “Casaundra had talked about her Native American background and using her schooling to … help them out. It was that involvement that they had.”
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