Society of the 1st Infantry Division offers scholarships
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Society of the 1st Infantry Division offers scholarships
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The Society of the 1st Infantry Division is offering $10,000 scholarships to children of current and former Big Red One Soldiers. Named after Lt. Gen. Clarence R. Huebner, the division's World War II commanding general, the society awards the scholarships based on the applicant's scholastic achievements, career objectives, and insight gained from an essay and letters of recommendation. The scholarships provide $2,500 annually to the recipient's school.

"This is a chance to give back to the Big Red One," said Col. Thomas Hollis, U.S. Army retired and the society's executive director. "These scholarships allows us to recognize the children and grand children of our Big Red One veterans."

High school seniors who are the children, grandchildren, or great grandchildren of 1st Infantry Division Soldiers should visit the following website to apply: Applications must be received by May 1, 2018.

"The scholarship recipients extend the BRO tradition of taking care of our own and commitment to excellence," Hollis said. "The scholarship recipients bring honor to their family's military service through these scholarships."

Many current Big Red One Soldiers may not know about the Society of the 1st Infantry Division. In 1919, Soldiers returning from World War I wanted to preserve the legacy of their wartime service. Since then, the society has been an organization of Big Red One veterans for Big Red One veterans and Soldiers. In addition to perpetuating the 1st Infantry Division's legacy, the society helps Soldiers in need.

"Since 2016, we've provided $65,000 in grants," said Hollis. "A Soldier needs a plane ticket home for a funeral or loses their household goods in a fire. We step in to help wherever we can."

The society also helps preserve monuments to the Big Red One. Recently, the society was among groups petitioning to have the First Division Monument in Washington, D.C. updated with the names of division Soldiers killed in action since Sept. 11, 2001. Because the monument belongs to the National Park Service and sits in President's Park on the grounds of the White House, any changes require an act of congress. Literally.

On Feb. 7, U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan), along with U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, whose district includes Fort Riley, introduced a bill authorizing the addition of names to the 1st Division Monument.

"For over 100 years, soldiers of the Big Red One have been tasked with the mission and carried the burden that comes with making certain our great nation remains free," said Sen. Moran. "There is no group more worthy of being honored than those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation, and I am proud to represent Fort Riley and work with the Society of the First Division on this effort."

For more information, contact the Society of the 1st Infantry Division at Jen Sanford at (215) 654-1969.