Veteran Is Ready for Next Mission

'The assistance provided relief from financial stress, as well as a sense of gratitude and hope'

Joe Maki, 30, of Flint, Michigan, served in the Marine Corps for five years. He enlisted for a number of reasons. As a child, he was fascinated by the military and inspired by family members who served.

Marine Corps veteran Joe MakiMost importantly, Maki recognized the chance to be part of something greater than himself, build character and gain lifelong skills.

Now a veteran, Maki is determined to continue serving others and believes an education will help. Currently, he is studying Information Assurance and Cyber Defense in the College of Engineering and Technology at Eastern Michigan University. 

“In the military, I recognized service as something I didn’t want to give up, even after I left,” he said. “That’s why I chose a career in cybersecurity. It’s an extension of service to our customers, communities and country.” 

With his tuition assistance running out, Maki planned to use money earned from an internship to help with the upcoming semester’s costs. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was cancelled. 

Maki had learned about the VFW "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship" while on active duty and decided to apply. 

“The assistance provided relief from financial stress, as well as a sense of gratitude and hope, knowing I’m one semester closer to continuing service outside of the military,” he said.   

In the face of unexpected challenges, Maki relies on values he learned while serving. He encourages other veterans to do the same. 

“My advice is to never give up,” he urged. “Stay on top of your class schedule, don’t be afraid of adversity, find what interests you and connect with organizations, clubs and groups.” 

With the right attitude and support, new goals are within reach, insists Maki.

“For some veterans, the next mission after the military can be more confusing than leading a platoon into combat.

“Those who made this assistance possible are providing so much more than a scholarship,” he said. “They’re providing hope, encouragement and a culture enabling us to give back in our own ways.

They’re helping veterans pursue the next mission in life.”

Learn more about the VFW's “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship."