A group of veterans who faced myriad challenges both during and after their military service are working to ensure that new generationshave one less hurdle of their own.

Detroit Chapter #9 of the Vietnam Veterans of America, in partnership with the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan, has established a scholarship for their descendants.

The awardsare $1,500 for part-time students and up to $3,000 for full-time students.

“The obstacles our veterans had to overcome–being spurned when they came home, dealing with the effects of Agent Orange and post-traumatic stress — are ones that, sadly, we still are coping with today,” explained Paul Palazzolo, president of VVA, Chapter 9. “Providing some money to help our future generations succeed is one way to ensure that they can have better lives than we did.”

To qualify, applicants must:

  • Be between 16 and 30 years of age.
  • Be the natural or adopted direct descendent of any individual who served in the Vietnam Waranytime during the period February 28, 1961, to May 7, 1975, or in Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia prior to February 28, 1961 but after 1958, with proof of service.
  • Be a part-time student taking at least six credit hours or a full-time student taking 12 credit hours at an accredited trade school, college or university in the U.S.
  • Be a student in good standing with a minimum 2.5 g.p.a. on a 4.0 scale.

Preference will be given to students with a demonstrated need as well as to those whose family member(s) are/were members of VVA, Chapter 9 for a minimum of five years.

The scholarship application deadline is March 15, 2020. For more information about the scholarships, go to www.cfsem.org/scholarships.

Michigan is home to approximately more than half a million veterans, an estimated 38% of whom served during the Vietnam War, according to Veterans Data Central. The brutal conflict stretched over 20 years, cost 3 million lives and caused long-term effects on those who served.