Posts Tagged ‘interviews’

This past week ThanksUSA hosted our 2010 Congressional Roundtable and Pentagon Briefing.  This event was dedicated to continuing the ThanksUSA mission of providing financial need-based scholarships to the family members of our service men and women.  We have many friends and supporters to thank for making the event successful, but I would like to start by expressing my gratitude to a special group of attendees, ThanksUSA Scholarship Recipients.

A select group of scholars traveled by plane, car, and bus to join us for this memorable event.  For most of our guest scholars, the event began early Wednesday morning at the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs where they were interviewed by ThanksUSA co-founder, Kelsi Okun.  A big thank you to Thalia Assurus and Professor Roxanne Russell for bringing out the best in our scholars and allowing them to share their educational experiences and future goals.

While the majority of the country dealt with thunderstorms and rain, our Nation’s Capital was in the midst of a heat wave.  Even so, our scholars bonded over lunch and then walked along Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.

ThanksUSA Scholarship Recipients, Ashley Wagner, Michael Atkins, Leighann Temple, Bailey Smith, Michelle Spradlin, Brice Guyer, Jennie Laurent

After a few photos, we were off to the historic Willard Intercontinental where our scholars boarded a bus for the Pentagon Briefing.  During their visit, they toured the Pentagon Memorial and were briefed by General Chandler, Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

Upon return to the Willard, our scholars and guests enjoyed a lovely reception and then moved on to dinner and our roundtable discussions.  Our emcee for the evening was The Honorable Dick Gephardt.  Brigadier General David H.  Cyr, USAF, gave the invocation and Major General Jack Catton, USAF (Ret), presented opening remarks.  ThanksUSA scholarship recipient, Michelle Spradlin, gave a moving speech about the challenges she faces as a military spouse and of the rewards that she reaps from her educational journey on her way to becoming a teacher.  She was followed by ThanksUSA scholarship recipient, Michael Atkins, Jr, who spoke of his dedication to pursuing dual degrees in pre-law and pre-med and his ultimate goal of becoming President of the United States…he will be eligible to run in 2028, so stay tuned for updates!

Veteran milspouses, Mrs. Sheila Casey and Mrs. Eva-Marie Chandler, had encouraging words for military families and discussed ways in which to close the gaps that exist in getting resources to military families who need them most. We honored two very distinguished Veterans during the evening, Senator Inouye and Congressman Dingell.  Both spoke of their military service, the importance of education, and their continued dedication to today’s military families.  The Folds of Honor Foundation President and COO, Ginny Creveling, explained her foundation’s collaboration with ThanksUSA to provide scholarships to the spouses and children of service members who have been killed or disabled while serving our great nation.

During our Roundtable discussions, we examined the Post 9/11 GI Bill, availability and access to needed resources by military families, and the best ways to improve awareness of resources to our military communities.  The consensus of all involved was that military families need to be aware of, and have easy access to, the resources that best meet their needs.  You can help us get resources to military families today – start by sharing ThanksUSA with your friends and family.  Even if you are a member of the civilian sector, chances are that you know someone in the military.  Tell them about ThanksUSA, follow our twitter feed, and join our Facebook page…these simple actions take mere moments, but can help get the word out about the mission of ThanksUSA and fellow organizations, like The Folds of Honor Foundation, that are dedicated to improving the lives of our military families.

I would like to personally thank those ThanksUSA Scholarship Recipients who joined us this week:

Michael Atkins, Jr, parents, SMSgt (Ret) Michael & Tracy, and sister, Brittany

Shadie Andraos

Joan “Brice” Guyer

Tyne Iverson and her husband, PO3 Brandon

Jennie Laurent and her husband, Marc (former Sgt, USMC)

CSM Bernard & Margie McPherson, parents of Bernard McPherson, II

Bailey Smith

Jackie “Michelle” Spradlin

Cornilia “Leighann” Temple

Ashley Wagner and parents, Sgt Thomas & Lisa Williams

On behalf of these scholarship recipients and their families, I wish to thank the wonderful staff of Aloft at National Harbor for being so courteous and truly making us feel welcome!  There are so many sponsors and supporters to thank, that I encourage you to visit our Facebook page to see updated listings of all those who deserve our thanks…photos will be added soon!


Read Full Post »