Retired Army Staff sergeant
“I am medically retired (SSG) from the US Army due to wounds that I received while fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. I am a Veteran, and I know exactly what it means to struggle with hopelessness and fear of combat traumas. I know without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus heard my cries for help and He reached into my heart and soul and began a healing journey in my life. I was lost and did not know how I was going to take care of my family after recovering from my injuries. Two years after my retirement, God opened the doors for me to attend Liberty University to obtain my Bachelor of Science Religion: Biblical and Theological Studies. I give all the glory to God for bringing me this far in my education. I know that I want to continue in my education so that I am well prepared to honor my God in ministry and my personal life.”
Matthew and his wife currently work full time in a Veteran outreach ministry in Montana, bringing hope and resources to active duty military and veterans.
Retired Navy COMMANDER
“My mom’s name is Cathy Merrill. She was awesome and my best friend. She was a Commander with in the Navy for 20 years up until 1998, and then went on to work for Homeland Security till 2015 when she retired. She was also a single mom for most of that time. She is the bravest person I know, being a single parent to two kids and a woman in the Navy. She passed away 8/15/2016 from liver cancer.”
Submitted by current LU student Jennifer Kunze, a junior pursuing a Bachelor degree in Health Informatics.
Marine Corps Sergeant
“I was blessed to make it through two, pretty much back-to-back deployments during OIF3 in the western Al Anbar province. I don’t have enough space here to list some of my experiences while deployed, but I can tell you that I have been extremely blessed and fortunate to be in the shape I am in. It took me a little while to adjust, and prayer also, to realize how ignorant it would be for me not to take advantage of my GI Bill, so here I am, still pumping it out, and have been so blessed to make it this far in my degree completion of my bachelors, and I am almost finished!”
Nick is a current LU student who served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2003-2007.
Earl Jones & FRANK SPEELMAN
Virginia Army National Guard & U.S. Navy
“This first picture (on the left) is my father, Earl Jones, who served in the Virginia Army National Guard. The second picture (on the right) is my father-in-law, Frank Speelman, who served in the Navy. Both of their lives were claimed by cancer, Frank's in 1984 and my dad's in 2015. They loved their country and were proud to have served.”
Submitted by current LU student Jennifer Speelman.
Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army
“This is my loving husband, soul mate, and best friend. I thank God every day that he allowed Sergio to come home, knowing so many of his soldiers and friends didn't return. Words cannot express how blessed our family is. He's our hero and we honor him!”
Sergio is a U.S. Army Infantryman with 4 tours in Iraq and a graduating senior at LU.
Submitted by current LU student Sarah Mercado.
U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy
“My husband, Carlo Miller. U.S. Marines (12 years) and U.S. Navy (8 years). Carlo grew up in the US military after being adopted from an Italian-Catholic orphanage by his wonderful parents. His highlighted service included HMX-1 Detachment, Marine One, for Ronald Reagan and Georgia H. Bush. After his twelve years as an outstanding Marine, I was blessed to meet my future husband. After our marriage, he re-enlisted in the Navy and off we went to Naples, Italy, where our son was born. Now we have a wonderful father-son connection that only God could have planned for us.
God has provided blessings upon blessings to this Christian former-Marine whom is so loved by his family.”
Submitted by current LU student Angela Miller.
Marine Corps Staff Sergeant
“It is an honor to serve the United States of America. I served in the United States Marine Corps from 2003 to 2009. I was deployed in support of the Operation Iraqi Freedom 4-7 in 2005. My unit was sent to the city of Fallujah in the Al Anbar province. At this time, Fallujah was one of the most dangerous cities in the world second only to the neighboring city of Ramadi, Iraq. It was there in Iraq that I had to grow up. I turned 21 years old halfway through our deployment.”
Brandon is a current lu student, pursuing his degree in Criminal Justice. He received the Combat Action Ribbon for his service in Operation Iraqi Freedom and currently serves in local law enforcement.
Retired Army Sergeant
“I love what I do now and would not trade the rough nights, the lonely holidays, or anything else that brought me here. God has protected me and my family through many of things. And now that I cannot serve I am thankful for those who can. Keep up the good work and God Bless.”
Aaron is a current lu student who served 8.5 years in the U.S. Army, including service in iraq and South Korea. medically retired in 2015, Aaron currently serves as a Children’s Pastor.
Retired Air Force Senior Master Sergeant
"My dad, William Sweeney, served 26 years in the US Air Force and retired as a Senior Master Sergeant in 2012, the same year I completed my undergraduate degree at Liberty University. This photo shows Dad saying good-bye to his 5 month old baby girl (me) before he left on his first deployment in service of the Gulf War in 1990. Just one example of the sacrificial life he's led for me, my sisters, my mom, and our country! I love my dad and I'm so incredibly proud to be his daughter!"
Submitted by LU alumna and current staff member Amanda Mitchell.