September 25, 2020

Veteran Leaders Fund Salute to Service Scholarship

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The Salute to Service Scholarship formed by the University of South Carolina Alumni Association’s Veterans Alumni Council is now funded thanks to a $20,000 gift from Palmetto State Base Camp. Founders of the organization presented the check to the Veterans Alumni Council leadership at the Pastides Alumni Center.

“It is an honor to do something for veterans that are attending the university and help them move forward,” said Jeff Hanson, founding member of Palmetto State Base Camp. Hanson is a retired veteran and alumnus of the university.

Since 1992, the mission of Palmetto State Base Camp was to assist veterans experiencing homelessness by securing transitional shelter and veterans services that support the return to independent living and integration into the community. Founded by Desert Storm veterans, Jeff Hanson and Jay Johnson, and Vietnam veterans, Wally Miles and Ray Owens, the organization worked tirelessly to empower veterans to return to society and walk down a new road toward a stable environment.

Now as the organization closes its chapter, the investment in the Salute to Service Scholarship is a way to continue its legacy to help future student veterans at the University Of South Carolina.

“Our priority this year was to get the Salute to Service Scholarship funded so we cannot thank Palmetto State Base Camp for their support and generosity,” said Keith June, chair of the Veterans Alumni Council. “This scholarship represents veterans helping each other and will be a testament to that far into the future.”

The Salute to Service Scholarship is the first student veteran scholarship at South Carolina that is not preferential to a specific military branch and was established to support student veterans who may have already exhausted their military benefits in higher education in their academic and professional pursuits.

“If this investment helps one veteran get a college degree, it’s a great thing and if it does more than that, it’s just multiplied,” said Jay Johnson, founding member of Palmetto State Base Camp and South Carolina alumnus.

Having the scholarship funded plays an integral role in the mission of the Veterans Alumni Council with engaging veteran alumni and supporting student veterans.

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