When Meagan Ochsner was 14 years old, her life changed forever. “Waking up on November 15, 2005, I would have never guessed how this day would go down in history as the worst day of my entire life – the day my Dad was killed in Afghanistan,” she wrote.
Meagan’s father, Sergeant First Class James Ochsner, served in the U.S. Army for 19 years. He was a veteran of Operation Desert Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom. While serving on his fourth tour in Afghanistan with the Special Forces Group, his vehicle was struck by an IED. He is the recipient of a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star with three Oak Leaf Clusters, and an Army Achievement Medal. Sergeant First Class Ochsner left behind his wife, Ann, daughter, Meagan, and son, Nicholas, both Freedom Alliance Scholarship recipients.
Meagan writes that the loss of her Dad redefined who she was, but that the event also became her incentive to become an Exceptional Education teacher. Today Meagan is a freshman at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina.
“When I am with kids whose difficulties are larger than my own, I can put my own losses and troubles into better perspective,” she said. “My father’s death and my journey since have helped me realize that teaching is not only my educational goal, but my calling in life. The financial assistance offered by Freedom Alliance will help me to fulfill my goals.”
Through our Scholarship Fund, Freedom Alliance has supported hundreds of students like Meagan and her brother, Nicholas. We are now accepting applications for the 2011-2012 academic year. To learn more or to apply for a scholarship, visit www.fascholarship.com.