SVA Voices

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SVA Voices • David Keener:  

Student Veterans of America prides itself on celebrating the diversity of the many student veterans that make up our chapters across the country. This June, in celebration of LGBT Pride, we not only celebrate the culture and history of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, we also recognize their countless contributions as student veterans and highlight their stories of success.

david keener

David Keener is a 10-year veteran of the Coast Guard, President of his SVA Chapter, and passionate about his career in computer technology. 10 years ago, David was released from the Coast Guard under Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT), for being gay. As we celebrate National LGBT Pride and inclusivity 365 days a year, we highlight the success David has experienced post-service and how he continues to give back to his community and serve his country. David will be graduating this month from Southern Crescent Technical College in Griffin, Georgia, with an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Computer Programming.

SVA Voices

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SVA Voices • Nadia Zullo Ross:  
Student Veterans of America prides itself on celebrating the diversity of the many student veterans that make up our chapters across the country. This May, in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we not only celebrate the culture, traditions, and history of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States, but also recognize their countless contributions as student veterans and highlight their stories of success. Nadia Zullo Ross is an Army and Navy Veteran, and 4th generation military, graduating this month with an MBA at Webster University. She also holds a BBA in Accounting from University of Texas at El Paso.

nadia zullo

Nadia's mother is from the Philippines and her parents met and married when her father was in the Navy and stationed there. She lived in the Philippines from age 6-11, when they had to leave because of the volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991. Nadia explained, "We were evacuated by the Navy and I got to ride my first Navy vessel and Navy helicopter. So thus, my fascination with joining the Navy."

SVA Voices

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SVA Voices • Katherine Pratt:  
Student Veterans of America prides itself on celebrating the diversity of the many student veterans that make up our chapters across the country. This May, in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we not only celebrate the culture, traditions, and history of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States, but also recognize their countless contributions as student veterans and highlight their stories of success. Katherine Ingle Pratt is the outgoing President of her SVA chapter at the University of Washington and a Korean American and U.S. Air Force veteran, who also grew up as a military child. Her father also served in the Air Force, and met and married her mother while in Korea.

katherine pratt


Katherine was USAF active duty from Dec 2008 - Dec 2012. She entered active service as a pilot trainee, and after 14 months transferred and became an operational flight test engineer. Prior to commissioning she earned a BS from MIT in Aerospace Engineering, using an Air Force ROTC scholarship. She is currently a PhD student and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow.

SVA Voices

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SVA Voices • Adam Winkler:  

As a part of our mission supporting student veterans in their transition into higher education and civilian life, Student Veterans of America (SVA) shares their success stories through SVA Voices. Through storytelling, we are able to highlight student veteran success, and inspire the next generation of student veterans.

adam winckler

Each April we celebrate Month of the Military child and few families exemplify this concept better than the Winckler family. Adam Winckler and his younger sister Jill are the son and daughter of South Dakota National Guard Combat Engineer, Kenneth Winckler, who enlisted when Adam was just 3 years old. After several years in the service, an opportunity presented itself for Kenneth to take a full-time Active Guard Reserve (AGR) position with the HHS 147th Field Artillery unit in Watertown, South Dakota. Adam says it was a wonderful way to provide for their family although it meant that he attended nine different school systems by the time he graduated high school. Upon graduating in 2000, Adam decided to follow in his father's footsteps by enlisting as a combat medic into the same unit as his father. Adam's father was still the supply non-commissioned officer for headquarters at the time. Soon thereafter, Jill also joined the SD National Guard as an 88M, Motor Transport Operator for a transportation unit out of Milbank, SD. According to Adam, his sister joined because she was a forward thinker and knew it would be a wonderful way to pay for a college degree. As it turns out they were both right and eventually three members of the Winckler family would become student veterans.

Within a year after 9/11, all three of the Wincklers were activated in different units for the National Guard. Jill was deployed to Kuwait City, Kuwait in 2002 running truck missions into Iraq. Adam was deployed in 2003 with the 109th Area Support Medical Battalion out of Vermillion, SD to Baghdad, Iraq. And Kenneth was activated to Fort Sill, OK; but deactivated and was not deployed. During the deployment, Adam's unit made sure that his sister was flown in to celebrate his 22nd birthday with him in Iraq. 

SVA Voices

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SVA Voices • Tammy Barlet :

As a part of our mission supporting student veterans in their transition into higher education and civilian life, Student Veterans of America (SVA) shares their success stories through SVA Voices. Through storytelling, we are able to highlight student veteran success, and inspire the next generation of student veterans.

tammy barlet

SVA is proud to celebrate the diversity of student veterans who contribute to our chapters across the country. In celebration of Women's History Month, and in recognition of the countless contributions of women student veterans past and present, we celebrate their stories of success.

 

Tammy Barlet is a Coast Guard Veteran attending Temple University, scheduled to graduate in May with her Bachelor of Science in Public Health.

 

Tammy planned on pursuing a Master of Public Health with an emphasis in global health once she completed her Bachelor's degree, however the 2017 SVA National Conference had quite an impact on her future plans. She explains, "While at NatCon 2017, I heard the Secretary of the VA and the [VFW] Commander in Chief speak about how as student Veteran leaders we have been blessed with an obligation of leadership because you can't leave change to chance. That evening I decided to become a veteran advocate."

  

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