Freedom Alliance has awarded more than $16 million in college scholarships to the sons and daughters of America’s military heroes.
These Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Guardsmen have sacrificed life or limb defending our country. We care for their families by helping their children achieve the dream of a college education.
The scholarship not only provides much needed financial assistance; it is also a reminder to the student that their parent’s sacrifice will never be forgotten by a grateful nation.
There are at least 6,500 children of service members killed in action in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Tens of thousands more children of wounded personnel will eventually qualify for a Freedom Alliance scholarship.
How Freedom Alliance Impacts the Children of Military Heroes
David Smith is a Freedom Alliance scholarship recipient. He attends Chattahoochee Technical College where he is studying to be an automotive technician and realize his dream of owning his own auto business. David’s father, SFC Paul R. Smith, was killed in action on April 4, 2003 as result of gunshot wounds inflicted by enemy forces. SFC Smith was posthumously awarded the first Medal of Honor of the War on Terror. David accepted his father’s award from President George W. Bush in 2005.
Below is the Medal of Honor citation for SFC Paul Ray Smith:
Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with an armed enemy near Baghdad International Airport, Baghdad, Iraq on April 4, 2003.
On that day, Sergeant First Class Smith was engaged in the construction of a prisoner of war holding area when his Task Force was violently attacked by a company-sized enemy force. Realizing the vulnerability of over 100 soldiers, Sergeant First Class Smith quickly organized a hasty defense consisting of two platoons of soldiers, one Bradley Fighting Vehicle and three armored personnel carriers.
As the fight developed, Sergeant First Class Smith braved hostile enemy fire to personally engage the enemy with hand grenades and anti-tank weapons, and organized the evacuation of three wounded soldiers from an armored personnel carrier struck by a rocket propelled grenade and a 60mm mortar round. Fearing the enemy would overrun their defenses, Sergeant First Class Smith moved under withering enemy fire to man a .50 caliber machine gun mounted on a damaged armored personnel carrier.
In total disregard for his own life, he maintained his exposed position in order to engage the attacking enemy force. During this action, he was mortally wounded. His courageous actions helped defeat the enemy attack, and resulted in as many as 50 enemy soldiers killed, while allowing the safe withdrawal of numerous wounded soldiers.
Sergeant First Class Smith’s extraordinary heroism and uncommon valor are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the Third Infantry Division ‘Rock of the Marne,’ and the United States Army.