February 7, 2008

Scholarship awarded to 29th Army Band Soldier

Spc. Joseph Cormier was awarded a four-year scholarship by Grantham University on Jan. 12. (Photo courtesy of Grantham University)

Courtesy of Grantham University

ARLINGTON, Va. — When Spc. Joseph Cormier submitted an online application for a four-year scholarship to Grantham University, he never imagined that he would actually win.  When the call came in, he was both surprised and shocked at the news.

“Spc. Cormier was chosen as the scholarship recipient for the state of Virginia because of his service to our nation, the compelling essay he submitted, and the value he places on earning a college degree,” said Johanna Altland, director of communications at Grantham University.

In conjunction with GX® magazine, a nationwide publication for members of the National Guard and their families, Grantham University provided one full, four-year scholarship to an Army National Guard member in each of the 50 states and four U.S. territories including DC, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The scholarship, valued at approximately $34,000, covers tuition costs, required textbooks and software.

Cormier was presented with his scholarship at the 29th Army Band’s Family Day Celebration in Salem, Va., on Jan. 12.  Maj. Gen. Robert B. Newman, Jr., the Adjutant General of Virginia, was in attendance to personally thank the 29th Army Band for their hard work and dedication during the 2007 holiday season.

Newman also congratulated Cormier and thanked Grantham and GX® magazine for creating this opportunity for guard soldiers nationwide.

 “We’re very excited to offer this scholarship program to members of the Army National Guard in honor of their sacrifice and service to their state and our country,” said Altland. “We fully support the Army National Guard’s education mission to encourage its members to pursue higher education. Grantham’s goal is to benefit soldiers and their families by providing the opportunity to further their education at no cost to the service member.”

Cormier has served with the Virginia Army National Guard since 2000. In addition to being the Nuclear Biological Chemical specialist for the 29th Army Band, Cormier has been deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom with the 1173rd Transportation Company from Martinsville, Va., and served with the 229th Chemical Co. from Roanoke, Va. 

Cormier plans to earn a bachelor's degree in criminal justice to help with his civilian job, as a deputy for the Roanoke County Sheriff's Office.

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