Veterans Day 2014

Members of the Combat Veterans Club gather at JBar to celebrate 2014 Veteran's Day.

Photo courtesy of: Tyler Daniels

Guard

Members of the color guard present the American Flag at the start of the afternoon Undergraduate Commencement on Saturday, May 2, 2015.

Photo courtesy of: Rob Hardin, UCM

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Michael Logue, founder of the Combat Veterans Club at Ohio University, accepted the Charles J. and Claire O. Ping Recent Graduate Award for his outstanding professional achievements at the 2015 Alumni Awards Gala.

Photo courtesy of: Anna Winstead, BSVC '16

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Combat Veterans Club continues honorable legacy through community service, student-funded scholarship


After a four-month deployment in Iraq, Human Intelligence Collector Tyler Daniels struggled to adjust to civilian life.

Daniels, who is now working toward his second bachelor’s degree in political science, came to OHIO upon the final withdraw of American forces from Iraq in Dec. 2011. But by then, he had been in the U.S. Army for four years and had participated in several Human Intelligence source operations.

“At that point I was 28 years old and trying to find connections with 18 and 19 year olds that just weren’t there,” Daniels said. “What I was really interested in was meeting people with similar experiences to mine.”

A few months later Daniels heard veteran Eric Burke speak at the Athens Public Library, and Burke suggested Daniels get in touch with the Combat Veterans Club on campus.

“He called someone and said he was sending me their way,” Daniels said. “That’s what began my interactions with other student veterans on campus. It was based on camaraderie, just getting together once a week with other people we could be ourselves with and have full-on conversations with people who understood us.”

Ohio University’s Combat Veterans Club aims to connect student veterans who have served in a combat zone. The organization, which is housed in the Office of Military and Veteran Resources, allows veterans on campus to bond through their similar experiences while giving back to the Athens community.

This year, the club has proven its outstanding commitment to the Athens community by creating a student-funded scholarship for student veterans and traditional students. As a result of their continued involvement in projects such as Habitat for Humanity’s effort to build a house for a local veteran, members of the Combat Veterans Club are strengthening the legacy of the organization.

Alumnus Michael Logue founded the Combat Veterans Club in 2010 following his return from deployment to Iraq with the famous Lima Company. His U.S. Marines unit spent 210 of the 240-day deployment engaged in combat, and he returned to OHIO determined to make the university a more veteran-friendly campus by connecting fellow brothers-in-arms.

“It’s giving a channel for these outstanding student veterans to make a transition to the civilian world but bringing their military intelligence with them,” Logue said at the 2015 Alumni Awards Gala, where he was presented with the Charles J. and Claire O. Ping Recent Graduate Award. “Knowing how to lead, and knowing what’s right … it takes courage to do that.”

In only a few short years, the organization has grown to include 25 members that have made a positive impact on both the campus and Athens community. In past years, the club hosted the Ohio University Combat Veterans Club Christmas Fundraiser to buy presents for the children of local veterans in need of financial assistance during the holiday season. After successfully sponsoring two families through their 2014 fundraiser, the club gained the momentum to look for more ways to raise money for local causes.

Prime Social Group, the promotions company that brings events like The Number Fest and Country Night Lights to Athens, previously hired members of the Combat Veterans Club to work security for their popular festivals. With Daniels leading the organization as president, the club voted to no longer accept individual paychecks from working the events. Instead, they would be paid as a group and the earnings would be entirely deposited into the club’s charity fund.

“We started saving money last year, and right now we have 1,000 dollars set aside for the Christmas charity,” Daniels said. “It started with one family that first year and now we’re hoping to help four families.”

The Combat Veterans Club is using the remainder of the money earned from working with the Prime Social Group to start a student-funded scholarship fund.

The Eyes of Freedom Scholarship will award two $1,000 scholarships in 2016— one to a veteran who has exhausted their GI Bill benefits prior to degree completion and one to a traditional student. These scholarships honor the memory of the 23 United States Marines from Ohio who gave their lives in Iraq while serving with Lima Company in 2005.

“Not only will the scholarship benefit others on campus, but it will also raise awareness that there are veterans on campus that are also giving up their free time to benefit someone else.” Daniels said.

For more information about The Eyes of Freedom Scholarship, contact Tyler Daniels at td572112@ohio.edu.