A scholarship banquet was held August 11 at the Surfs Edge Club at MacDill AFB to honor winners of the 2018 scholarships awarded by the Tampa Green Beret Association and Command Chapter LX, Special Forces Association.
The banquet celebrated the accomplishments of students who exemplified the ethos and values of the Special Forces: honor, courage, loyalty, integrity, and commitment.
Now in its 23rd year, the program is a passion project of local veterans to support the mission of the Special Forces Association while helping the future of veteran families. The first scholarship was $500. The scholarship program has provided 68 awards, and in the last eight years, has funded $140,000 in scholarships for local students. This year $15,000 in scholarship awards was split between five students: Claire Eberhart and Tessa Monroe, both from Bloomingdale High School, Harry Thomas Woodmansee IV from Durant High School, Mallory Bilyeu attending University of Georgia and Caleb Keoho from H.B. Plant High School.
Scholarship applicants had to be a member or be related to a member or assigned to USSOCOM or USSOCCENT at MacDill AFB, as active duty Green Beret, have a minimum unweighted 3.0 GPA and be involved in extracurricular activities and volunteer in the community.
Claire Eberhart is attending the University of South Florida for both her undergraduate and medical school degrees with the goal of becoming a neurosurgeon. With a 4.0 unweighted and a 6.52 weighted GPA, she is the leader of the 2018 scholarship class.
Eberhart said, “I applied to the R.J.M scholarship because of my dad, who is a Special Forces veteran. Finding out that I was one of the winners was fantastic feeling. I’m proud to be related to a veteran and honored they chose me.”
Her mom is a nurse practitioner and truly loves what she does, and Eberhart hopes to get the same joy out life by helping people.
Tessa Monroe attends the University of South Carolina, majoring in Biology. She is a member of the National Honor Society, and a Capstone Scholar. Monroe also supports the chapter by volunteering at its last Sporting Clays Shoot fundraiser.
She applied for the RJM scholarship because her dad is a member of the Special Forces Association, and because attending college out of state is costly. She was also interested in answering all the essay questions and giving opinions on Richard J. Meadows and how his story impacts her. “I was super excited about being awarded this scholarship and kind of surprised because I was really nervous in my interview and didn’t know how the interviewers would think of me and my plans for college,” she said.
“I’ve always been more math and science based while in middle and high school and I wanted to explore every avenue I could go down for a career. I figured Biology is super broad and I’m bound to find something that really calls to me that I could research or get a job in.”
Harry Thomas Woodmansee IV is a member of the National Honor Society, volunteers at as swim and Little League coach and at the Plant City Food Bank. In his last two years at Durant, he was the baseball team captain.
For more information on the Scholarship Program, please visit https://specialforces.org/richard-j-meadows/ or the Tampa Green Beret Association and Command Chapter LX, Special Forces Association at https://specialforces.org/, contact Jon Mueller at email@example.com or 728-5505.