FORT GORDON, Ga. --- Five students are now closer to achieving their academic goals after the Fort Gordon Sergeants Major Association awarded them with scholarships during a banquet on July 15.

Each year, the SMA awards scholarships to high school graduating seniors who were selected for their best-written essays.

All of the scholarships are named in honor of deceased sergeants major and Soldiers.

The Sergeants Major Strickland and Ivory Scholarships are in memory Sgt. Maj. Larry Strickland and Sgt. Maj. Lacey Ivory, who were killed during the terrorist attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

Cathryn Schrader, a graduate of Evans High School, received the Strickland Award for her essay, Teen Literacy in America. The Ivory award was presented to Olivia Davis, a graduate of John S. Davidson Fine Arts, for her essay, Parental Alienation Syndrome.

The Command Sergeant Major Wilson Scholarship is in memory of Command Sgt. Maj. Jerry Wilson¸ a native of Thomson, Ga. who was killed during an ambush in Mosul, Iraq in 2003. Morgan Tuschen, a graduate of Evans High School, received this award for her essay, From Drum Corps to College.

The Sergeant First Class Brent award is in memory of Sgt. 1st Class Derrick Brent, who passed away in Weisbaden, Germany on January 3, 2007. This award was presented to Christopher Gaines, a graduate of A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engineering Magnet School, for his essay, How Cerebral Palsy Affects My Life.

The Retired Sergeants Major of the Central Savannah River Area Scholarship is in memory of all deceased sergeants major. This award was presented to Renae Capers, a graduate of Grovetown High School, for her essay, Texting Your Life Away " Literally.

“These are awards in which we are committed to, and we take great pleasure in assisting young students in the pursuit of furthering their education,” said Al Steel. “We feel that the Soldiers these awards are named after, as well as all deceased sergeants major, would be very pleased with the way we are honoring their names for their sacrifices and service to the nation.”

The award recipients also received a letter of congratulations from the U.S. Senate.