San Quentin veterans presented scholarships to three high school students for essays on how their parents’ military service influenced their lives.
“Due to my father’s scars, I have developed a greater appreciation for the men and women who risk their lives to protect our country,” wrote Katherine Braun of Livermore. “His willingness to serve in the military has created a drive in me to live a life of leadership and service to others.”
Braun won the $1,750 Marcy Orosco Scholarship Award. Her father, mother, and older sister, Elizabeth, accompanied her. The scholarship committee selected Braun for accomplishments such as her 4.04 GPA, being cheerleader captain, her roles on the student body government, and her numerous hours of community service.
The Vietnam Veterans Group of San Quentin presented college scholarships totaling $4,000 on June 22 at the 26th annual awards banquet.
The $1,000 Mary Manley Inspirational Award went to Daniel Lindstrom. He wrote a heartfelt letter about what his father’s service in Vietnam meant to him.
“Since returning from Vietnam, life has been extremely difficult. However, I am so proud of my son and thankful to the VVGSQ for their award,” said Lindstrom’s father, with tears in his eyes.
Stars and stripes banners and military flags lined the walls of main visiting as patriotic music filled the hall. Nearly 100 group members, sponsors, scholarship recipients, and their families came together to break bread and pay tribute to the outstanding students.
The ceremony opened with the Honor Guard’s presentation of our nation’s colors. This was followed by VVGSQ Vice Chairman Lawson Beavers escorting scholarship recipients Braun and Lindstrom to light candles at a table set in remembrance of POW/MIA military men and women.
In addition to the scholarship awards, the VVGSQ also unanimously elected Raphaele Casale as cosponsor. Secretary/Treasurer David Basile listed how much of an asset to the group Casale has been over the past year. After a brief deliberation, the vote was unanimous in favor of Casale becoming a sponsor. Basile presented Casale with an official VVGSQ hat.
Certificates were passed out to VVGSQ members who held leadership roles within the group. Sponsors of the Veterans Issues Group and Veterans Training Ground programs received engraved plaques thanking them for their service.
Taylor Trummel was selected to receive the third $1,250 Veterans Scholarship Award; however, she was not able to attend the event but came later to accept the award.
The ceremony closed with VVGSQ Outside Coordinator Greg Sanders extinguishing the POW/MIA candles, as Larry ‘Popeye’ Faison played Taps. Sanders said the best part of the evening was, “Seeing the father’s of the recipients stand in front of the group and express their gratitude. We were able to honor them by honoring their children.”
If an incarcerated veteran wants to learn more about VHV or if they or their family may qualify for additional benefits, please contact:
Mary Donovan, Executive Director of VHV
PO BOX 432
San Quentin, CA 94964
The VHV website is veteranshealingveterans.org