Support the troops with UWF’s newest student org

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Staff writer

follow If you have been in the military, currently serve, have loved ones in the armed forces or simply want to support those who are, the University of West Florida has a new student organization just for you – the Armed Forces Student Alliance.

source site The Armed Forces Student Alliance was founded this year by Blake Radford, a junior pre-law and political science dual major and the club’s president. Radford served in the United States Marine Corps for four years as a marksmanship coach and paralegal. He achieved corporal before being honorably discharged in August 2016 to pursue his education.

http://thefoolishobsession.com/tag/polkadot-pr/ Radford has attended UWF for three years, mostly taking classes online while serving in the military. This semester, he decided to start this group because he said he “wanted a place to meet new friends and directly impact their community.”

here “I mainly built this club for those who come to the university after me,” Radford said. “I want to build them a home and a new family.”

The Armed Forces Student Alliance is completely up and running; however, a few board positions are still available to be filled by “dedicated and self-driven individuals.”

The faculty sponsor is Chris “Scott” Satterwhite, former member of the United States Navy and Marine Corps and current UWF professor. Satterwhite teaches composition, rhetoric, public writing and literature. He was one of six Pensacola veterans whose stories of life in the military and the transition to civilian life was featured in the Florida Humanities Council’s “Telling: Pensacola.”

“Being a veteran on a college campus can be an alienating experience for many,” Satterwhite said. “A lot of them do well in college, but some have a lot of trouble. I’m really glad the Student Alliance is forming. I think it’ll help tremendously to build connections that are desperately needed on UWF.

“As a veteran who served with the Navy and Marine Corps, I’m proud to be the faculty advisor for this group.”

The group began actively recruiting in February and already has 22 members.

“So far, the interest has been well beyond what I expected,” Radford said.

Since commencement, the organization has held six meetings and attended the FSU Veteran Ball. Their next event will be a members’ barbeque on April 1.

“We plan to do everything,” Radford said. “Group functions, 5Ks, weight lifting competitions with the school, fundraisers, volunteer events.”

Radford, along with Chief of Staff Bradley Parker and Vice President Matthew Kerr, are already in the process of planning many events. Parker is a freshman and former member of the United States Marine Corps, and Kerr is a junior and served in the United States Navy.

Parker served in the United States Marine Corps for five years as a safety and survival mechanic on C-130’s and V-22’s. He graduated from Pace High School, and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan and Quantico, Virginia, as well as a deployment to Afghanistan.

“No matter what branch we come from, we all know the difficulty of being separated from friends and family,” Parker said. “That is the reason I got involved in this group. I wanted to build a family here at UWF; a group of people that can lean upon each other in times of need.

“Most of us are lucky, we don’t have problems. But there are some of us that do, and that is what this group is for – to grant you access to help; to a family that cares.”

Anyone can join the Armed Forces Student Alliance. Although the club is built around members of the military, everyone is welcome to be a part of their “family.” They currently have three civilian members with no affiliation to the armed forces.

“All I want people to know is: we exist and we are here for them,” Radford said. “We are here to create a new family on campus that focuses on supporting our members during and after graduation and directly impacting our community.”

For more information about the Armed Forces Student Alliance or how to become a member, contact Radford at bar42@students.uwf.edu.