‘You’ve Overcome Challenges Harder Than This’

After returning from deployment, veteran Sam Beinstien noticed a VFW table at a Yellow Ribbon event, learning about the VFW’s 'Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship'

When VFW member-at-large Sam Beinstein, 28, graduated from high school, he tried college but realized it was not right for him at the time. Instead, he chose to enlist.

“Hearing my grandparents talk about their time in the service used to be my favorite thing as a little kid,” he said. “I joined the Guard so I could also serve my community and have the chance to work with people abroad who needed assistance.”

Veteran Sam BeinsteinAs a member of the Connecticut National Guard, Beinstein, a native of Simsbury, Connecticut, was deployed to the Horn of Africa in 2021 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. After he returned home, Beinstein noticed a VFW table at a Yellow Ribbon event. He learned about the VFW’s “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship" and applied.

“The cost of education continues to rise, and what a lot of people don’t realize is that some members of the National Guard may not have full GI benefits,” Beinstein said. “Scholarships like this make it possible for us to focus on our education without having to worry about being able to make tuition payments.”

Having just graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in anthropology, Beinstein is set to attend nursing school in the spring of 2024. He is eager to put his education and skills learned in the military to use in his career.

“I’ve been an EMT since 2017 and have always liked the field of trauma medicine. While deployed, I had the opportunity to learn from medical providers on base,” Beinstein said. “That experience is what motivated me to pursue a career in nursing, hopefully as an ICU nurse.”

Beinstein encourages other veterans to push themselves after they leave the military.

“Go for it!” he said. “Too many veterans don’t take full advantage of the benefits they have worked tirelessly to get. I never would have been able to return to school full time without this scholarship. But because of it, I was finally able to graduate after 10 years of work.”

“Use the knowledge you gathered from service, and don’t be afraid to transition to college or trade school,” Beinstein said. “You’ve been able to overcome challenges much harder than this.”

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