Former Army Sergeant found reasons to move forward
Valerie Brown, 2012 UMKC Communications Studies graduate, wanted to do something for her country and for herself. After 9/11, she joined the army and accomplished both. Recently, Brown was an invited guest on The Late Show with David Letterman to discuss the army, her education and her job search.
During her time in the Army, Brown was a Blackhawk mechanic and a crew chief. She also served two tours of duty in Iraq. After the armed services, she enrolled at UMKC where she was one of the student founders of the UMKC Student Veterans Organization, a national affiliate of the Student Veterans of America. The SVO offers support to student veterans, assists with tuition and scholarships and aids their transition from active duty back to civilian life. Brown also served on the national leadership team of the SVA.
“I was living in Kansas City going to school for communications. The Mission Continues offered 9/11 veterans a grant to do volunteer service for 20 hours a week for six months,” Brown told Letterman. The best part, she said, was seeing renewed hope in the faces of the people she helped.“There’s nothing like seeing motivation start.” She received a Fellowship from The Mission Continues for her volunteer service.
Brown also is the recipient of the Presidential Volunteer Service Award for her work with Student Veterans of America.