Veteran’s Day is coming up this Saturday, November 11th – a day the US Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs describes as “A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.” With this in mind, we would like to draw attention to our Jake Meinert Memorial Scholarship.
Lance Corporal Jake Meinert was a 2007 graduate of Fort Atkinson High School and a very proud U.S. Marine. He had completed a tour of duty in Iraq and was serving a second tour in Afghanistan when, on Jan. 10, 2010, he was killed while leading a team into a position to better protect the rest of his squad.
After his death, students at Fort Atkinson High School raised money to send support packages to our troops in Iraq in Jake’s honor. When that involvement wound down, the high school and Jake’s family asked the Foundation to take the remaining $5,000 in the account to award annual $1,000 scholarships in Jake’s name until the money ran out. That was in 2012. Magically, we have been able to award this scholarship for the past 10 years because good-hearted souls in our community have continued to add money to the fund. But this might be our last year as the fund balance is now $1,027.
As Jake’s mom told us, “Jake grew up a lot between his two deployments and before he left for Afghanistan, he made sure that his siblings were committed to seeking a postsecondary education - that they had a plan.” It has been our honor to award Meinert Memorial Scholarships to help our students as they plan their next steps in life. Semper Fidelis