$11.55 Million Awarded

Navy vet uses Help A Hero Scholarship to pursue degree

When Autumn Bridgman left the Navy after four years, she set her sights on giving back to the veterans' community by embarking on a degree that would allow her to impact military families.

Enrolling at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Bridgman was soon introduced to the VFW’s "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship” as a means of helping her finance a degree in marriage and family therapy.

Navy Veteran Autumn Bridgman
Navy veteran Autumn Bridgman, left, celebrates alongside a fellow Seabee during a Memorial Day parade in 2015 in Thousand Oaks, California. Photo courtesy of Autumn Bridgman.
“As a single mother of two kids pursuing my dreams, it's easy to put my goals and dreams on the back burner to do what I need for my kids,” Bridgman said. “So, receiving a one-time scholarship of $5,000 for schooling has been a blessing to me and my family.”

With more than a year left in her program, Bridgman looks forward to the possibilities her degree can provide for her as a means to help fellow veterans and their families. 

“My goal is to become a licensed marriage and family therapist, working with military members, past and present, as well as their families,” said Bridgman, who spent time in Gulfport, Mississippi, and Port Hueneme, California, as well as Okinawa, Japan, during her time in the Navy. 

Bridgman is among the many veterans in pursuit of higher learning who turn to VFW’s “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship” for a hand up. The scholarship, founded in 2014, provides service members and veterans with the financial assistance they need to complete their educational goals without incurring excessive student loan debt.

Since its inception, the VFW’s “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship” has awarded $11.55 million to more than 2,560 veterans and service members wanting to further their education. 
For applications, details or eligibility guidelines on the VFW’s “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship,” visit vfw.org/Scholarship