Veterans Day got an early celebration at the State Bar of Arizona Tuesday, when special guest speakers talked about those who sacrifice for their country.

Two representatives from the Pat Tillman Foundation described efforts to ease and improve the stateside return of those who have served in the armed forces. The presentation was part of the Bar’s focus on diversity and inclusion.

Suzanne Reddie and Cara Hammer provided statistics that reveal the challenges faced by the returning vets. To respond, the organization established initiatives such as the Tillman Military Scholars Program:

“The Tillman Military Scholars program supports our nation’s active and veteran servicemembers and their spouses by removing financial barriers to completing a degree program of choice. The scholarships cover not only direct study-related expenses such as tuition and fees, but also other needs, including housing and child care.

Suzanne Reddie

“Since the program’s inception, the Pat Tillman Foundation has invested over $2.2 million in financial support. These scholarship funds are just a portion of the Tillman Military Scholar experience which also focuses on guiding an engaged community and providing essential resources that enable Scholars to serve and lead in their local communities.”

Veterans may apply for a scholarship to attend virtually any college, but some schools apply to be selected as “University Partners,” those who have demonstrated specific elements they have put in place to assist their veteran scholars. Among those partners is the University of Arizona.

Cara Hammer

David Sandweiss, Senior Bar Counsel, described the well-known “Pat’s Run,” the signature fund-raising event of the Foundation. It is held at Arizona State University, and last year more than 30,000 people participated. For more information, click here.

Among the lighter moments of the event was the creation of two posters filled with photos of vets related to Bar staff. Many participated in a competition to decipher whom the photographed military personnel were related to at the Bar.

Congratulations to all the Bar staff who organized this event, and especially to Patricia Giallanza of the Communications Department.

These and other photos are posted on the Arizona Attorney Magazine Facebook page.

Pat Tillman