Meet Our 2015 Scholarship Winners

Brief statements from 19 of our 2015 Scholarship Winners.

Lydia Jacqueline Keppler

I'm overwhelmed and honored to be the recipient of the 11th Armored Cavalry Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia and the Charles Schmidt Leadership Scholarship. I truly can't find the words to express the depth of my gratitude to be selected for these awards because they represent more to me than assistance with my education. They represent some of our Nation's greatest heroes having faith in me to accomplish all the goals I've set forth for myself, and the work I plan to achieve in the future. My husband and I are both Army veterans, but we also have a strong military background on both sides of our family. It is because of this that I hold all military service in high esteem, but it's because of my dad that I have a great respect for Vietnam veterans. I am privileged to have his stories, the ones that the history text books don't tell. He's told me of the heroism of soldiers the comradery, the losses and wounds, and has allowed me to truly appreciate the sacrifices that were made during the war. My dad is my hero; as are all soldiers, past and present, which serve selflessly for our Nation. So when I'm asked what these awards mean to me. I can honestly say, everything.
I'm extending my greatest and most heartfelt 'thank you' for the selfless service to our Country, and for bestowing me with these prodigious awards. I'm honor-bound to pay it forward in my life's work.   

Lydia Jacueline Keppler is the daughter of Carlos Velando, 7th APO 1970,

Recipient of the 2015 Col. Charles Schmidt Leadership award.


      Marriah Xylina Amador

      When I received the news that I had been chosen to receive the 11th ACVVC scholarship, a wave of emotions overcame me. I thought about how much I had worked hard growing up academically and in extracurricular groups, how I'd finally have a break from college expenses and about how my future seemed to be coming together. But as I continued in my joy I thought about the veterans behind this award and their sacrifices. About the thousands of men who believe in me and other young people like me and continue to donate to such a cause, men just like my father. So truly I don't feel deserving of this award; I feel honored to say that it was the heroes among the Black Horse who have enabled me to continue chasing my dreams and to go as far as I can knowing I have their support.     

Marriah Amador is the daughter of John Amador, HHT Regiment, 69-70.

KIA dedication in honor of: Kent Whitehouse Gregory, 541st MID, (KIA 3/06/68).

1.  Richard Matthew Alex Bartz

I am not only grateful to receive this scholarship, I am honored. The Blackhorse scholarship is more than a financial award. I promise to represent the Blackhorse with honor. My father, Richard C Bartz served in the 11th ACR, so as the son of a Blackhorse, I truly believe I am representing his Band of Brothers. I am enrolled in the Honors Program at Liberty University in Virginia and my major is Cinematic Arts. Additionally, I will be continuing to receive ratings to my current private pilots license and will continue my service to the community. Thank you and may God Bless you all.

Richard Bartz son of Richard C. Bartz, C Troop 68-69.

KIA dedication in honor of: Percy Eugen Bly, L Troop, (KIA 9/14/70).

     Veronica Bowen

The 11th Cavalry Black Horse Scholarship is very important to me because it will help me in my future endeavors in terms of my education. This scholarship will be put to good use for my education by paying for books, supplies and other materials that I will need during my program of study for nursing. It means a lot to me that the 11th Armored Cavalry has established a scholarship to support the children of Veterans of Vietnam. I sincerely appreciate being chosen for this scholarship and will forever be grateful. 

Veronica Bowen is the daughter of Robert Bowen, 9th Signal, 67-68.

KIA dedication in honor of: Leonard Erwin Cruce, A Troop, (KIA 6/06/68).

Nicholas Edward Brown

I am privileged and honored to accept the 2015 11th Armored Cavalry's Scholarship in memory of Larry Daniel Boobar. This scholarship will assist me in achieving my goal in attending college. This scholarship is especially meaningful to me because of what the Cav means to my father.

Nicholas Brown is the son of Edward Brown Jr., A Troop, 67-68.

KIA dedication in honor of: Larry Daniel Boobar, C Troop (KIA 9/06/69).

Caitlin Cunningham

I was very happy to learn that I was a recipient of the 11th Armored Cavalry Scholarship. I am writing to thank you for your generous, financial support towards my higher education. By awarding me this generous scholarship and lessening the financial burden, I am able to concentrate on my education. I hope one day I will be able to help others achieve their goal as you have helped me. I plan on majoring in Kinesiology at Kansas State University, where I begin my college career as a freshman this fall. I later plan to pursue a career as a Physical Therapist. Thank you again for recognizing my worth. It truly is an honor.

Caitlin Cunningham is the daughter of Robert Cunningham, D Co., 68-69.

KIA dedication in honor of: Hollis Ronney Norrid, B Troop, (KIA 7/01/68).

Rose Ma Demasi

This award means, that now I have the money I need to purchase equipment of my training at the Culinary Institute of America. Thank you so much for this scholarship.

Rose Demasi is the daughter of Ralph Demasi, M Co., 68-69.

KIA dedication in honor of: Billy Gene Rodgers, K Troop, (KIA 07/21/67).

Jessica Lauren Eriser

My name is Jessica Lauren Eriser and I am the daughter of a Vietnam Vet. I am Sooo thankful to have received this Amazing scholarship in honor of a KIA, that my father happened to be friends with, Stanley A. Schroeder! I've always really enjoyed going to the reunions & meeting many more of his friends and very thankful that this organization exists for all of the Vets to still get together yearly to relive the good time through that terrifying war. This scholarship means the world to me to be able to go back to school & get retained! It's been something I've wanted to do for years but now having this extra money it definitely now gives me the ability :) thank you So Very much.

Jessica Eriser is the daughter of James Eriser, A Troop, 68-69.

KIA dedication in honor of: Stanley A, Schroeder, A Troop, (KIA 5/19/68).

Charlies W. Fisette

For the last 8 plus years I have fought to reach the halfway point of this journey towards fulfilling a dream. The 11th Armored Calvary has given me a leg up on completing the second half of that journey and I am grateful beyond what words can say. My quietest and biggest supporter nominated me for this honor and I am proud to have not let him down. Thank you for continuing to give more than the people of the United States could ever have asked for.

                                                                      Charlie Fisette is the son of Wayne Fisette, HHT 1/11, 69-69.

KIA dedication in honor of: Richard Eugene Dodd, D Troop, (KIA 12/31/70).

Rachael Hoffman

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the 11th ACVVC for this scholarship that I received in memory of SP4 Daniel M. Dawson. I am so honored to receive this scholarship, he was just three years older than I am now and he made the ultimate sacrifice for his Country and all Americans. He is truly an American Hero! I want to thank the association and all it members for their generosity in awarding me this scholarship. My plan is to get a degree in Filmmaking and minor in Studio Art at Montclair State University. After graduating I plan to seek a master's degree or begin a career in the film industry. Receiving this scholarship better allows me to focus on achieving my dreams of becoming a director and artist and not having to worry about the financial burden of paying tuition. I'm very proud and thankful for my father and all the people who have served our country. Thank you again for your generosity that has allowed me to pursue my education.


Rachael Hoffman is the daughter of Sande Hoffman, K Troop, 67-67.

KIA dedication in honor of: Daniel Millard Dawson, F Troop, (KIA 12/15/69).

      Jenna W. Johnson 

Thank you for selecting me to be a recipient of an 11th Armored Cavalry’s Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia scholarship award. This scholarship brings me one step closer to achieving my goal of becoming an educator. These funds will help me afford the fees and materials necessary to complete my bachelor’s degree in English so that I can pursue a master’s degree in teaching. I hope to serve not only as an educator to my students but as a mentor as well. I want to create a classroom that will encourage honesty, integrity, respect, and the drive to succeed. I would like to thank my father and all those who have served or are currently serving our country for giving me such a generous opportunity.

Jenna Johnson is the daughter of Gerald S. Johnson, HHT 2/11, 71-72.

KIA dedication in honor of: Steven Clinton Heffner, G Troop, (KIA 4/26/68).

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Emma May Jones


Emma Jones is the daughter of Daniel Jones, 541st MID, 68-69.

KIA dedication in honor of: Robert Louis Bolan, HHT 2/11, (KIA 7/24/70).  

      Sean Patrick Kelly

T    This scholarship means so much to me and I can't thank-you enough for the award. I am going to Ferris State University to study Survey Engineering. Many of the scholarships that I have received have been because of my academic achievements in high school but it has been the scholarship that I have received through my father's service in the Vietnam War that has made such a huge difference. He received two purple hearts and the Silver Star along with many other honors and sacrifices during his tour in Vietnam. He is a disabled veteran because of his time served and I am so proud to be his son. I know his sacrifices were huge but he has told me that it was all worth it if it puts me through school and gives me a better life. He is my hero and I hope that my achievements not only in high school but also in college will make him proud of me. I don't know how I could ever repay him or my mom. This scholarship I accept in honor of my father, Patrick Ellis Kelly's who served in the Vietnam War and to all of those who serve this country to secure our freedom. Thank-you

Sean Kelly is the son of Patrick Kelly, C Troop, 69-69.

KIA dedication in honor of: Johnny Carl Jones, HHT 3/11, (KIA 11/27/69).

Donald J. Kulpa

First, I would like to thank my father, Norman Kulpa. His support and belief in my abilities gave me the confidence to return to school. I am pursuing a Masters in Library and Information Science, and my future plans involve work addressing inequalities of access to information and services that effect many Americans, including our Veterans. I thank every member of the 11th Cavalry's Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia, for this scholarship, and Glen R. Gordon, to whom it was dedicated. I appreciate your support and hope to rise to the example you've set.

Donald is the son of Norman Kulpa, B Troop, 70-70.

KIA dedication in honor of: Glenn Raymond Gordon, I Troop, (KIA 3/3/69).

Jennifer Motz

This is the most amazing news, I cannot thank you enough. This scholarship will be a huge help, as a working parent paying for my own school with no educational assistance from my employer it has definitely been a struggle. I am currently traveling for work this week, but will make the steps mentioned below my priority as soon as I get home this weekend. Again, I really cannot tell you how excited I am and how thankful I am for this scholarship. You are truly making a huge difference in my life!

Jennifer Motz is the daughter of Norman, B Troop, 70-70.

KIA dedication in honor of: Donald Robert Robison, M Company, (KIA: 3/12/68).

Katie E. Nybo

I am busy at school but I take the time to reflect on my life, my family, who are my primary support, and things in general. Getting here was not guaranteed and I want you to know how thankful I am for the 11ACVVC Scholarship that you so generously bestowed on me. I am writing this letter on Veterans Day. I wished my Father a happy one and of course thought of Samuel Lee Patterson, in whose name I received the scholarship, and all of you. Again, thank you so much. I am pursuing a career which will allow me to give back and to help others and I will carry you all with me. I have been blessed. I can’t help thinking how history would have changed had my Dad given "all" as Samuel Patterson and so many did.

Katie Nybo is the daughter of Marc Nybo, HHT 2/11, 69-70.

KIA dedication in honor of: Samuel Lee Patterson, A Troop, (KIA 5/13/69).

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Cody Brett Reynolds


Cody Brett is the son of Johnnie Reynolds, How Btry 3/11, 69-69.

KIA dedication in honor of: Freddie Joe Cigar, H Company, (KIA 5/5/68).

Autumn Wickstrom

Please do not think my delay in thanking you for this generous scholarship indicates a lack of appreciation, quite the opposite – I wanted to share my gratitude once I selected a major. I spent my first semester at East Carolina University in North Carolina exploring various majors and have officially declared Construction Management as my major. Funny, how something so obvious took time to realize that my passion for architecture, interior design and being outdoors was the beginning of a fabulous career. I would like to thank the 11thArmored Calvary’s Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia for the scholarship that has been awarded to me in memory David Lee Nord who was killed in Action on June 23, 1969. I am proud that my dad served in Vietnam which has given me the inspiration to help others. In conjunction with my education, I have joined Habitat for Humanity to obtain practical experience for my major. I thank all military members for their service and I will make the 11th ACVVC very proud to have awarded me this wonderful scholarship.

Autumn Wickstrom is the daughter of Eric Wickstrom, How Btry 2/11, 70-71.

KIA dedication in honor of: David Lee Nord, I Troop, (KIA 6/23/69).

Ashleigh Rodriguez Williams

I would like to sincerely thank the members of the 11th Calvary who have served our great country. I recognize the great sacrifices you have endured, which have afforded me with the opportunity to be bestowed with the honor of being a recipient of the 11th Armored Cavalry Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia scholarship.  I am honored and beyond grateful to receive this scholarship in memory of Ricky Fay Cossey.  I will honor Mr. Cossey’s memory by using the scholarship to complete my education at Regis University, College of Business and Economics where I will graduate with a degree in business and management. It is my goal to honor Mr. Cossey, my father and all of the other great men and women who have served our country by utilizing my education to impact the greater good of our country through ethical leadership in business. Thank you again, for this prestigious honor. I am forever grateful.



Ashleigh Williams is the daughter of Juan Rodriguez, HHT 2/11, 71-72.

KIA dedication in honor of: Ricky Fay Cossey, How Btry 1/11, (KIA 12/18/68).