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JU student veterans benefit from $3,500 city donation

By Aleizha Batson/Jacksonville Mayor’s Office

Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown presented a group of 10 Jacksonville University student veterans with a check Tuesday, Nov. 27, for $3,500 to finance a trip to the annual Student Veterans of America national conference in Orlando in January. 

“I’m proud to support these brave men and women as they transition to civilian life and embark on a new mission to better themselves through academics,” said Brown. “More than a donation, this is about our city’s future. It’s about refining leadership skills and grooming potential into reality. It’s a symbolic gesture for a city where generous people will always come together to help the military and veterans community.” 

The money was raised through private donations. Jacksonville University President Kerry Romesburg and Don Capener, dean of the Davis College of Business, accompanied the students to City Hall to accept the gift. 

“Jacksonville University is very grateful to Mayor Brown for graciously recognizing and honoring the contributions and the potential of our student veterans,” said Romesburg. “The national conference will provide invaluable resources, support and advocacy to help all of our student veterans – many of whom are going through multiple life transitions – succeed in higher education and after graduation.” 

The 10 student veterans recognized Tuesday are: 

  • Darrell Smith, U.S. Navy
    • B.S. in Computer Science, minor in Business Administration
    • Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • Carey Alton, U.S. Navy
    • BBA in Finance
    • Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom 
  • Eric Daniels, U.S. Army
    • B.S. in Aviation Management and Flight
    • Afghanistan, April 2009 to February 2010 
  • Ted Chancellor, U.S Navy
    • B.S. in Aviation Management and Flight
    • Horn of Africa tour, stationed in Washington, D.C., Pensacola and Naval Station Mayport, and now at NAS Jacksonville 
  • Danielle D’Amato, U.S. Navy
    • B.S. in Biology
    • Stationed at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma City and NAS Key West in Florida; CS2 Culinary Specialist second class 
  • Lissette Matos-Minehart, U.S. Army
    • B.A. in Psychology and minors in Spanish and Business    
    • Three Combat Deployments Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait
    • Two Army Achievement Medals, two Army Commendation Medals, two Army Good Conduct medals, national defense service medal, armed forces expeditionary medal, global war on terrorism service medal, army service ribbon.
    • Combat Action Badge and the Army Drive and Mechanic Badge 
  • Joel Schell, U.S. Navy
    • B.S. in Social Sciences
    • Served a distinguished 26 year career, retired in 2011.
    • Served aboard the following duty stations:
    • USS Halyburton (FFG 40), Charleston, South Carolina 1985-1990: 2 Deployments to the Mediterranean 1986 (Gulf of Sidra) and the Persian Gulf 1988 during the Iraq/Iran War (Combat Deployment)
    • Fleet and Mine Warfare Training Center, Charleston,  South Carolina 1990-1993
    • USS Moosbrugger (DD 980) Mayport, Florida 1993-1999: 3 Deployments to South America
    • Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island 1999-2002.
    • USS Spruance (DD 963), Mayport, Florida 2002-2005: 1 Arabian Gulf Deployment in 2004 with the JFK Strike Group (Combat Deployment)
    • Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit 501, San Diego, California 2005-2008: 1 Deployment to Kuwait (Combat Deployment)
    • Center for Surface Combat Systems Detachment San Diego, California 2008-2011.  
    • Personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (four awards) as well as various unit awards. 
  • Elton Snowden, U.S. Marine Corps
    • B.S. Political Science and BBA in Business Administration
    • Marine Corps Dover Team, Security for the President of the United States, and Secret Service 
  • Nevardo Cayemitte, U.S. Army
    • B.S. International Business, minor in French
    • Two tours in Iraq, awarded Combat Infantryman badges
    • Humanitarian service medal and Campaign Star 
  • Marshall  Cusick, U.S. Army
    • B.S. in Aviation Operations
    • Deployments: Baghdad  and Basra