Helping Veterans with Educational Debt
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.
I was able to complete my degree because I joined the active duty army and attended the Special Warfare Training Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, for the psychological operations (PSYOP) course. After completing the PSYOP course, I was assigned to the 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne). I then deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Subsequently, I was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
When the 389th was called up, Roy was forced to put a halt to his education and deploy with the reserve unit. When Roy returned from Iraq, he completed his degree in business administration and became a district manager for Aldi Corporation in the Baltimore area, where he administered daily operations for several stores.
After much thought and planning, we decided to form Leave No Veteran Behind. We hope to ensure that no veteran will ever again fight to pay for an education that has already been paid for twice—once by their own sacrifice and again by the sacrifice of their families.
We have been extremely blessed with support from friends, families and businesses. Because of this, we received over $65,000 in money and services that have allowed us to start up our organization. This help has enabled us to start enrolling veterans, and in three weeks' time, we enrolled 14 veterans and have more than 20 other veterans who are in the enrollment process. We have done all of this primarily through personal contacts and word of mouth. As we begin other forms of outreach, we know that many more veterans will need our help.
Our organization has 501c3 status, and we are looking for monetary donations. But, we also need help educating people about this important issue.
To learn more, please visit LeaveNoVeteranBehind.org.
Want to support more organizations like this? Become a member of Oprah's Angel Network.
Meet the mastermind who—at age 13—created an organization that sends the message of peace by delivering soccer equipment around the world.
Peer into a summer camp filled with kids who have experienced limb loss and the one week a year they are just like everyone else.
Dressed head to toe in hope, read the story of a volunteer who witnessed one woman's transformation as she prepared for a new career and a better life.