2015 Tillman Scholar
Having served a total of five years, during Richard’s first deployment to Afghanistan he was tasked with the responsibility of establishing local security working shoulder to shoulder with village leaders, uniting the Afghan leaders and raising quality of life. As a result of Richard’s team efforts, villagers took charge of their own security, scaring off IED emplacers attempting to target a newly repaired school.
Seeing the fruits of his labor first hand and ultimately becoming one of his life’s most defining moments, Richard plans to promote the proverbial ‘communal good’ by serving others, establishing sustainable security and economic stability in underdeveloped areas that are prone to violence due to a lack of livelihood, and to act as an agent of change instigating waves of systemic reform.
Richard’s military experiences, combined with his advanced set of skills, have led him to a course of study in environmental policy and natural resource management at Indiana University. He wants to serve as a change agent in underdeveloped communities with a goal of quieting violence at its source before it requires a much larger sacrifice to stamp it out.