Veterans group gives scholarships to local seniors

By AJ Meakins;

Four local seniors received $750 scholarships for their exceptional essays.

On Monday, April 26 the Branson Veterans of America Chapter 913 presented four scholarships with the William G. Groninger Scholarship for the essays on “What is a democracy and what is a republic? Which is the United States?”, according to Scholarship Committee Chairman Bob Sarver.

The 2021 recipients were: Emilee Rowe, a senior from School of the Ozarks, who plans to attend New Mexico Military Institute reporting July 30. She plans to go on the to the Air Force Academy to pursue her dream of being a flight surgeon.

Ashely Matthew, a senior from Forsyth High School, who is be attending the University of Arkansas to major in business and pre-law.

Joshua Strahan, a senior from Forsyth High School, who will be attending Missouri Valley with a football scholarship to major in abribusiness.

Ashley Nolan, a senior from Reeds Spring High School, who plans to go to Ozark Technical Community College to pursue a career in dental hygiene.

According to Sarver, the winners were selected from a large number of submissions. The scholarship involved two parts, the essay and then a personal interview with the committee.

“You don’t realize the tough time that this committee had on selecting the recipients,” said Sarver. “We had so many good ones this year.”

Each recipient read their essays and received their certificate of scholarship at the monthly meeting of the Branson Veterans of America 913 at Golden Corral in Branson.

“The essays are great and you can see that the recipients have been raised with great values, love of country, love of God and I think that is the thing that this organization is all about,” said Sarver at the meeting. “I want to thank the parents for the way they have led their kids, it is pretty phenomenal.”

The William G. Groninger Scholarship was founded in 2014, to honor Lt. Col. William G. Groninger. Groninger was a 20 year veteran of the Air Force who flew more than 100 missions over North Korea and flew the SR-71 over Russia and Cuba during the Cold War. He spend many years working to insure veterans were honored and appreciated. He served as President of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 913 from 2006 to 2010, according to Sarver.

Groninger received the Bridge Builders Award for his work building education between veterans and students, according to Sarver. He passed away in October 2011. He was posthumously named Member of the Year for the chapter in 2012.

“The Board of Directors wanted to honor him and the William G. Groninger Scholarship program was introduced,” said Saver.

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