On behalf of the Society of the Honor Guard, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (SHGTUS), I am proud to announce the recipients of the 2013 SHGTUS education scholarships. The scholarships are a core component of our programs, and represent the essence of who we are as an organization.
We want to thank the many deserving applicants, and we regret that we could only select one per scholarship. The three recipients were selected by the SHGTUS Education Committee using an internal scoring process. This year’s recipients are:
Charlotte Tatum – Neale Cosby Scholarship
Charlotte resides in Elizabethtown, North Carolina, and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. She is currently enrolled at East Carolina University in the Master’s of Communication Sciences and Disorders program. Here in an excerpt from her essay:
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier means unconditional selflessness because these soldiers, as well as countless others, were willing to sacrifice their lives and remain in obscurity so that we can live free. I know that America is the greatest nation in the world, because of the life I have been able to lead. I have been able to attend school, vote, practice my religion without persecution, and love who I want. In other nations, I might not be able to enjoy the same freedoms because of my sex and age. I completely understand that the freedom I enjoy is due to the selflessness of those serving in our armed forces.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier symbolizes hope. The Tomb has served as a grave stone for the families of unidentified fallen soldiers, since they had no grave to visit to remember their loved one. The Tomb gives these families hope, because they are able to see that there are others who care about their warrior’s sacrifice, and that makes their sacrifice worthwhile. I also believe that the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has come to serve as a beacon of hope for this nation. In the past fifteen years alone, this country has faced major tragedies. I think that the people of our country find hope in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier because it reminds them that throughout our history, there have been, and there still are, brave men and women willing to fight for our freedom. It reminds us that even though we might not all be from the same geographical area, or speak the same dialect, or practice the same religion, we are all Americans, and there are Americans who are willing to lay their lives down for their fellow countryman.
Benjamin Bell – Adam Dickmyer Memorial Scholarship
He resides in Tampa, Florida, and is a graduate of the University of South Florida, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. He is currently enrolled at the University of North Florida in the Nursing Anesthetist program. On receiving the award, he said:
This scholarship is a living tribute to Adam Dickmyer. While I did not know Adam personally, our shared experience as Tomb Guards gives us a bond of brotherhood. I am currently pursuing a graduate degree in nursing anesthesia and will strive to be a visible role model and honor his memory as the recipient of the 2013 scholarship that carries his name. On behalf of myself and my family thank you for the opportunity to honor his sacrifice.
Kathleen Compton – SHGTUS Freedom Scholarship
The recipient of the SHGTUS Freedom Scholarship is Kathleen Compton. She was sponsored by her husband, and former Tomb Guard and current SHGTUS Member Brian Compton.
She resides in Tacoma, Washington, and is a manager in the Global Supply Chain department of REI. She is enrolled at the University of Washington at Tacoma in the Business Management and Leadership certificate program. Here is an excerpt from her essay:
When I first met my husband Brian Compton, he was a sentinel and badge holder at the Tomb. At first I didn’t know what that meant, having only experienced the Tomb as a visitor. But through our friendship, I got a unique look behind the scenes, which helped me understand the dedication to keeping the memories of the Unknowns alive and to keeping traditions in place. I saw and learned about the work to get uniforms perfect and up to standards, the “new man”/ badge holder relationship, the interactions with the public, and the strict adherence to the military pageantry and processes. I not only learned about the Tomb, but I learned more about Arlington Cemetery as a whole… Although the US military is a huge operation, this relatively small group of people has a shared set of memories and experiences that are very unique and special, and I was very honored to get a glimpse of that from the inside.
Written by Dann G. Druen