2015 Tillman Scholar

Joshua Sparling

University of Arizona

“Our country is bigger than any one person and with teamwork, people can overcome any obstacle.”

With his grandfather, father, brother and sister all serving in the military, it wasn’t until Joshua was attending community college that he decided to join the Army and be part of the effort to defend our freedom. After conversations with classmates in which he was defending his friends currently serving, Joshua decided to back up his friends and what he was saying by joining the service himself. The next day Joshua made a life-changing decision, putting college on hold and signing papers to become part of the 82nd Airborne Division.

During his tour of duty to Iraq in 2005, Joshua was involved in multiple firefights, and as a result was critically injured by an I.E.D., losing his leg, half his stomach, and receiving a permanent implant in his back–ending his military career. While recovering from his injuries, Joshua decided to finish what he started in college with the goal of becoming a lawyer.

A first generation college student, Joshua’s goal is to affect maximum change in a position serving in the public sector, helping veterans solve issues deeper than those on the surface by representing them in Veterans Courts and lobbying for their just treatment.