“Literally one day before the ROTC scholarship deadline to select a school, Robert asked me if I wanted to go to ’Cuse together,” says Michael Thomas. “It was an easy yes.” Originally, the twins planned to enlist immediately after high school but decided to pursue an ROTC scholarship instead. The scholarship was only awarded to 4,000 students nationally, and both the Thomas twins succeeded in earning it. They are now juniors at Syracuse University and while they are considering graduate degrees, they want to serve in the Army first.
It’s the season of giving and support! The Student Veteran Organization is collecting care packages for deployed troops and you can help! Small items can make a huge difference over seas and even donating something that may seem inconsequential could be a luxury for a soldier. Below are a list of items that you can donate and several locations collecting the donations.
Syracuse University Army ROTC Cadet and U.S. Army veteran Maria Delgado is a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Maria is a naturalized U.S. citizen since 2010, and today she calls Syracuse, New York home.
Cadet Maria Delgado has served in the United States Army Reserves for 10 yrs. She enlisted in 2008 as a Health Care Specialist completing basic training at Fort Jackson, SC and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sam Houston, TX in 2009. Her first assignment was with the 1984th United States Army Hospital in Fort Wainwright, Alaska. In 2012, she returned to Fort Sam Houston, Texas where she attended and completed the Army’s Licensed Practical Nurse program.
Maria’s has trained and mobilized throughout the United States and the world highlighted by her 9-month deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba with 744thMilitary Police Battalion, where she served as the battalion’s senior medic.
Cadet Delgado’s military awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and the German Marksmanship Badge, to name a few.
Maria holds a Bachelor’s of Health Science degree from the George Washington University, and today she is currently a post-graduate student pursuing a Master’s of Science Degree in Public Health at Syracuse University. Cadet Delgado will graduate in the Spring of 2019, and she will be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army.
“In Afghanistan, I went to towns where kids have zero opportunity,” says Ben Brickman a Marine veteran. “They grow up to turn a field with a shovel 12 hours a day until the day they die. That gave me so much perspective to recognize the opportunities in our country and made me want to seize every chance I have.”
Ben enlisted after high school and completed two tours in Afghanistan before attending Syracuse University in his mid-twenties. He is the first walk-on football player at SU since the 1930s. Now a senior, he looks back at his time attending SU positively and thankful for how support the University has been. Recently, SU has been ranked the #1 private institution for military veterans and #4 overall.
“I found out at Syracuse they cover 100% for veterans which was a massive weight off my shoulders,” says Brickman. “Coming out of the Marines, you think a school like Syracuse is out of reach but this University really went above and beyond for me as they do all veterans. They even found me some extra money to cover housing.”
He goes on to say how helpful the separate veteran organizations on campus are for supporting veterans, “I grew up two hours away but I still didn’t know anybody here,” says Brickman. “Within an hour of getting here though, the Student Veterans Organization and the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs introduced me to three or four people that quickly became my good friends.”
To read the full story of Ben Brickman, Marine veteran and walk-on football player, you can go here.
Military Times has named Syracuse University the number one private school and fourth institution overall for Best for Vets rankings. SU is the only private institution to be placed in the top 10 and it currently has the highest military graduation rate of the top five schools.
“It is a proud day for the Orange family,” says Chancellor Kent Syverud. “We remain steadfast in our efforts to be the ‘best place for veterans’ and military-connected students and are grateful that Military Times recognizes this commitment. I am also thankful to the thousands of veterans, service members and family members who have selected Syracuse as their higher education community. Their great service to our country is most appreciated and there will always be a place for them at Syracuse University.”
United States Navy Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Michael Zingaro hails from Syracuse, New York. He enlisted in the Navy in 2015 and completed boot camp later that year.
MC2 Zingaro’s first duty station was aboard U.S.S. George H.W. Bush in Norfolk, Virginia. While aboard the U.S.S. George H.W. Bush, he went on deployments with both the 5th and 6th Fleets to the Mediterranean Sea and a combat deployment to the Arabian Gulf.
He has received two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Good Conduct Medal, Global War on Terrorism standard and Expeditionary, Sea Service Ribbon, National Defense Medal for his military and combat service.
MC2 Zingaro’s proudest military moment was being the aerial photographer for a joint exercise between the United States and the United Kingdom, which debuted England’s newest aircraft carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth.
Today, MC2 Zingaro is a student at the Military Visual Journalism Program at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Brianna Green, Katy Macdonald, and Matthew DeVirgilio are active-duty military members who are attending the Syracuse University Military Visual Journalism Program. Each one reflects upon their time in the service, why they came to SU, and what hearing ‘thank you’ means to them. Sometimes it is an instant connection with the person who said it, and other time’s it gives encouragement and meaning to their sacrifices. To read about their stories, visit the Daily Orange here.
On November 9th, retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Peggy Combs 85′, the highest ranking female military officer to graduate from Syracuse University, gave the ceremony keynote for SU’s Veterans Day Services. In 1085 she was commissioned into the U.S. Army in Hendricks Chapel and her wish was to retire in the same location.
“To begin and end my Army career at Syracuse is significant and meaningful to me,” said Combs. “The University helped to shape me into the person I am today, and I am tremendously proud of my alma mater as they support and empower my fellow veterans, service members and their families.”
To learn more about Peggy Combs and the rest of the Veterans Day ceremonies you can go here.
Amanda Rylee is a U.S. Army active-duty servicemember that enlisted after high school and is currently attending Syracuse University for entrepreneurship in Whitman. After she graduates, she plans to continue her active duty. Eventually, she wants to open a craft brewery and is currently working on her plans.
“It’s challenging sometimes to balance coursework and service,” says Rylee. “It requires a lot of time management, but the Syracuse professors are super helpful and understanding of my obligations and they have allowed me to be successful in both arenas. The camaraderie I get to be a part of both on campus and in my unit is something I wouldn’t trade for an easier schedule.”
To learn more about Amanda Ryle you can go here.