2009 Tillman Scholar
Don joined the US Army in April 2001 and served for five years as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. He deployed to Iraq twice during that time.
The experience of being on the ground in Baghdad and witnessing some of the missteps of the early days of the Iraq War led Don to leave the Army to pursue an education in Middle East Studies. It was clear that a gap existed in terms of what we were doing on the ground and the expertise required to get the job done. By pursuing an education in Middle East Studies, Don hopes to contribute to the mission through developing a better understanding of the language, culture, history, and politics of the Middle East.
After earning a BA in International Studies and an MA in Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Don rejoined the Army in 2011 and continues to serve as an officer.