2016 Tillman Scholar

Casey Clark

University of Minnesota

“Military has a way of uniting everyone under a common purpose. These ideals drive me to serve my community.”

Eager for adventure, Casey enlisted in the U.S. Navy, quickly learning the importance of teamwork, unity and selfless service. After honorably serving for four years, he decided to separate from the Navy in 2000 to pursue his education at the University of Wisconsin.  But in the aftermath of 9/11, he talked with recruiters and former teammates, ultimately deciding to re-enlist and continue his service as an Army medic upon graduation.

Inspired by how Army medics were conducting clinics in remote areas of Iraq and Afghanistan, Casey wanted to help those who had no access to western medicine.  During one of his deployments, he witnessed the need for Iraqi military medics and developed a comprehensive medic-training course.  Throughout the training, he not only developed close relationships with the Iraqi medics but was also privileged to learn much about their language and culture.  Together, they coordinated with the Iraqi Ministry of Health to set up temporary clinics in remote areas throughout Diyala Province; in addition, they conducted basic first aid classes for the community, orchestrated women’s reading classes throughout the province, and provided school supplies to children in underprivileged areas.  

As an Army medic, Casey’s service overseas underscored the importance of serving individuals in the community with compassion and respect. His greatest reward was witnessing the Iraqi medics’ competency and willingness to support their community. Now, after 12 years of military service, he is pursuing his medical degree at the University of Minnesota in order to bring exemplary patient care and compassion to his own community.