A member of the Oprah's Angel Network community shares his inspiring story.
My name is Eli Williamson, and I am a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. I have started a nonprofit with my childhood friend Roy, who is also a veteran of Iraq. Our nonprofit, Leave No Veteran Behind, works to relieve the educational debt of veterans who are serving and have served in the U.S. military.
Currently, many service members who receive higher education during, before or after their service have to take out costly loans to pay for their education. While there are military educational programs that help relieve this educational debt, not all veterans are covered under these programs. Leave No Veteran Behind addresses this issue by taking private donations and applying them directly to veterans' student loan accounts. In return, we require that all veterans helped through our program give back 100 hours of community service. We will work in conjunction with other nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, governmental agencies and religious social service groups so that we may allow veterans the chance to use their skills and lack of indebtedness to improve the lives of people in their communities and country.
Roy served in Iraq with the U.S. Army Reserves, 389th Engineering Battalion.