“The sacrifice my father made has been a strong inspiration to me,” said Ashley Cooke, a Freedom Alliance Scholarship recipient. “My father’s military service… has shaped me into the person that I am today, as well as my future goals.”
Ashley’s father, Lieutenant Commander Barry T. Cooke, a native of Austin, Texas, was a U.S. Navy pilot assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt and flew the legendary A-6 Intruder in Attack Squadron 36 – The Road Runners.
The Roosevelt, based out of Norfolk, Virginia, was deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm in 1991. While flying a combat mission in the Persian Gulf, LtCdr Cooke was shot down when his aircraft came under fire from Iraqi warships off the coast of Kuwait. He was Killed in Action and left behind four year old Ashley, her two brothers, Justin and Nathan, and their mother, Letitia.
Ashley is now a sophomore at San Antonio College in Texas and is majoring in Nursing. She has a 3.6 GPA and is involved in her local church’s Bible study.
When Ashley graduates she wants to give back to others who have sacrificed for our freedom and “plans to become a nurse at a military hospital where [she] can help take care of soldiers and their families.”
“I desire to follow a career to not only give something back to our military, but to follow the Lord’s will and make my father proud of me… I know that he is watching down on me from heaven,” she said.
Ashley is eligible to renew her scholarship this fall and again for her senior year. Her brothers are also eligible to receive a Freedom Alliance Scholarship should they choose to attend a college or trade school.
The Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund has supported and honored the sacrifice of hundreds of students like Ashley, and is currently accepting applications for the 2010-2011 Academic Year. To learn more or to apply for a scholarship visit www.fascholarship.com .