At the end of each semester, the Pat Tillman Veterans Center and ASU Alumni recognize student veteran graduates with the Veterans Honor Stole Ceremony. It is a point of pride for student veterans and their families.

6 Veterans Share the Keys To Their Success in College

Veterans at ASU make our university and community stronger; their stories show how we can support their journey

Arizona State University
6 min readOct 29, 2019


Arizona State University celebrates and supports our student veterans, who highlight our inclusive institution and make us stronger as a community. Salute to Service Week is a great opportunity to give to veteran causes through ASU. You can support their transition into the classroom and bridge financial gaps left by the GI Bill as they pursue innovative solutions at ASU and prepare to enter the workforce.

Meet some of our veterans who have benefited from your generosity:

Anthony Lawrence, Air Force

“Through ASU, through networking, through the Pat Tillman Veterans Center and Luke Air Force Base, that’s how it’s all possible,” Lawrence says. “I’m definitely feeling inspired, more inspired than even before.”

Anthony Lawrence didn’t slow down when he left active duty in the Air Force to enroll at ASU. Not only did he earn an undergraduate degree and begin a master’s program, but he played football for the Sun Devils as a walk-on while simultaneously earning his private pilot’s license. Through it all, he relied on the Pat Tillman Veterans Center to help him navigate an overwhelming list of to-dos: set up housing, register for classes, learn about his GI Bill benefits, and schedule tutoring, among other items. “The Pat Tillman Veterans Center was my way to stay connected when I was on my own,” he says.

Grateful for the assistance, Lawrence joined the center’s outreach team to connect other student veterans to the services that helped him succeed. He’s since returned to active duty to attend Air Force Officer Training School, where he’ll earn second lieutenant rank and learn to fly Air Force jets.

Read how Lawrence landed a flight in the F-16D Fighting Falcon after an encounter during ASU’s 2018 Salute to Service week with Brig. Gen. Todd Canterbury, 56th Fighter Wing commander at Luke AFB and an ASU alum.

Steve Sequeira, Air Force

Steve Sequeira was determined to draw from his military experiences in a new environment after serving six years in the Air Force. ASU was his first stop. But Sequeira, a first-generation American who promised his parents he would graduate from college, had trouble transitioning back to civilian life. He began to wonder, “Did I make the right choice?” Sequeira’s worries dissolved after being connected with veterans who have successfully traversed the college experience. He was pointed toward resources and services that eased his experience and set him up to thrive.

Sequeira hopes to be a role model for his young son, Xavier. “The thing I want to show him is that as long as you work hard and apply yourself,” he says, “nothing and nobody can stop you from achieving what you want to do in life.”

ASU is proud of our military veterans like Sequeira and feel it’s our duty to serve the men and women who served our country. Find out what it’s like to be a student veteran at ASU in the Inside ASU podcast.

Give today to veteran causes at ASU: Honor our military veterans and active-duty students and support their educational journey at Arizona State University.

Claudia ElDib, Marine Corps

Claudia ElDib is a tenacious force with impressive credentials. The U.S. Marine Corps veteran and expert markswoman took her distinguished skill set to ASURE, where she’s busy converting research into solutions that address defense and security challenges.

ElDib, a PhD candidate in ASU’s history program, works closely with the Pat Tillman Veterans Center to develop defense curricula for colleges across ASU that rely on input from student veterans. She understands firsthand just how valuable they are to the community. “ASU has a significant brain trust in veterans,” she says. “If we position ASU to assist the military in achieving its goals, everybody will benefit.”

Our Sun Devil service members and veterans like ElDib have many powerful stories to share. Here are a few ideas to help you honor a veteran you know or one you don’t at these 2019 Salute to Service events.

Steve Latino, Army

Following a 12-year stint in the Army, including two tours of duty in Afghanistan, Steve Latino came to ASU with an abundance of life experience. Yet at 31, he felt uneasy among a sea of freshmen. “There’s no way an 18-year-old is going to understand what a 31-year-old veteran has been through,” he thought.

Latino brought his concerns to the Pat Tillman Veterans Center and gained a new perspective. “They told me these young students are like young soldiers,” he says. “They want to learn. They need to be mentored, to be motivated to succeed and excel at life. That changed the way I interacted with students from that point on.” Latino became a mentor on campus and helped found the ASU sport fishing team, integrating his passion with his leadership skills.

Latino became a mentor on campus, finding purpose in giving back. Through the ASU Mentor Network, you too can inspire the professional growth of ASU students and fellow alumni.

Derek Pomeroy, Navy

Shortly after joining the Navy at 22, Derek Pomeroy sought life advice from a staff sergeant, who told him, “If you don’t learn anything else, learn this: Be a good man. Not just with your work and not just with what you do, but how you do it and how you treat people around you.” This not only guided Pomeroy’s work as a hospital corpsman during Operation Enduring Freedom but informed his post-military goal of graduating college. Yet he stumbled into financial hurdles upon arriving at ASU when his car died.

Pomeroy and his wife, Marissa, found relief in the Veterans Education Fund scholarship, which enabled them to pay unexpected bills. “My goal is to say, ‘I’m an ASU graduate,’” Pomeroy says. “That means something. It means I have experience and I’m ready to be successful.”

Contribute to the Veterans Education Fund today and show your support for ASU student veterans like Pomeroy. Every gift will make a difference.

David Moran, Navy

A chance trip to Alamogordo, New Mexico, led a young David Moran to a space museum. That’s when he decided he would travel to space one day — a dream that stayed with him even while serving in Afghanistan as an electronic technician for the Navy. He was then brought on as a technician at SpaceX, the private aerospace manufacturer, but he knew he would never be chosen for a space mission unless he earned a degree.

Moran landed at ASU but struggled as a first-generation college student — that is, until he discovered the university’s large support system, which helped him navigate the unfamiliar and remain on track. A pin attached to his backpack reminds him of his childhood dream: “Mars or bust!”

Navy veteran Moran wears a bracelet on his right wrist that bears the names of three fellow service members killed a month before they were to return home. “It’s a daily reminder of how you should live your life to the fullest,” he says. That’s why the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering student never loses sight of his dream to travel to space one day. How will you help a student veteran dream big?

What you can do today to honor a veteran

Donate to support veteran causes at ASU.
Attend one of the Salute to Service events.
Connect with the Pat Tillman Veterans Center, the ASU Alumni Veterans Chapter or the Office for Veteran and Military Academic Engagement.
Share a message on social media.

As an Air Force veteran, first-generation American and father, Steve Sequeira has faced difficult situations before, but coming to ASU straight from the service was “the hardest thing I had to do.” When you give to veteran causes at ASU, you give veterans like Sequeira the support they need to earn a degree. Thank you for standing with our ASU veterans.

About ASU Foundation

The foundation, a subsidiary of ASU Enterprise Partners, is a private, nonprofit organization that raises and invests private contributions to Arizona State University. It is one of Arizona’s oldest nonprofits.

Connect with ASU Foundation:

Visit the website.
Like on Facebook.
Follow on Twitter.
Connect on LinkedIn.
Subscribe on YouTube.

Read more stories of generosity at ASU in Impact magazine.



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