Graduate student Chad Waltz selected as Tillman Military Scholar
Chad Waltz, a graduate student at Arizona State University, has been selected as a Tillman Military Scholar for the 2012-2013 academic year.
In 2008, the Pat Tillman Foundation established the Tillman Military Scholars program to support educational opportunities for servicemembers and military families by bridging the financial gaps left by the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. As a result, Tillman Military Scholars receive financial support to not only cover traditional study-related expenses such as tuition and books, but also other needs, including but not limited to: housing, transportation and childcare.
Waltz is currently working toward a master’s degree in social work in the College of Public Programs. He first became aware of the scholarship opportunity while searching for information about Pat’s Run on the Pat Tillman Foundation’s website. After going through the application process, Waltz’s application was put before the committee and selected along with one other student from ASU.
“I was completely moved and blown away by the board recognizing and selecting me. I consider it to be a tremendous honor to represent the Tillman Foundation,” said Waltz.
During his time in the military, Waltz served two years in the Navy after finishing high school, spent time in the Army National Guard and, from 2003 until the present, has been a member of the Air National Guard.
A proud supporter for advocacy and education among the military community, Waltz is currently interning with Vets4Vets, an organization specializing in peer support for veterans who have experienced mental trauma while in combat. He says that the experience gained while working for the non-profit has further ignited his passion to give back to the veteran community.
“I ultimately want to work as a professional within the military in their mental health core, and assist with trauma and those who are coming back from war with serious mental illnesses and readjustment issues,” he said. “In my internship we have vets from all walks of life and it is great to help with the integration back into society.”
Coming from a military family, both Waltz’s grandfathers served in the Korean War, and his father served in the Vietnam War. His wife is in the Navy Reserve and is currently deployed on a mission scheduled to return in February of 2013. Although he knew the separation would be difficult, Waltz says he most anxious about how the couples 16 year-old daughter would react to the news.
“I was concerned with how she would handle the departure of her mother and the challenges of it just being father/daughter time, but she has been a joy. She is committed to academics and is heavily involved in sports,” said Waltz.
Through his partnership with the Pat Tillman Foundation, Waltz is looking forward to giving back to the military community that has continually supported his family through many deployments. He is also interested in serving as an example for other veterans who may be considering getting an education.