Student Veteran of the Month
By Billy Triphahn — email@example.com
David Kwon’s reasons for enlisting in the U.S. Army changed over time.
“I initially joined the military for college benefits,” said Kwon, a sophomore in philosophy and mathematics. “However, during my time in service, I realized the work I was doing meant something greater.
“All of us, both civilians and veterans, must continue to fight for those who have sacrificed and those who are continuing to sacrifice so much on behalf of our country.”
Kwon enlisted in the Army in 2010 as a paratrooper, also known as an 11B Infantryman.
After attending boot camp, infantry school and airborne school at Fort Benning, Georgia, he was assigned with the famous 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Kwon deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom XII.
During his time in the Army, Kwon was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, Parachutist Badge, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NATO Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon.
He was honorably discharged 2014 at the rank of Specialist (E4). Since then, he has volunteered in impoverished areas in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya, and farmed in the Andes of Bolivia with the indigenous Aymara people.
President of the Student Veterans Association and Nontraditional Students Organization, Kwon is also involved with the United Students Against Sweatshops organization.
“The University of Illinois at Chicago is one of the best educational institutions out there,” he said.
“The fact that it is immensely diverse and located in the hub of a global city makes it all the more profound, not to mention the spectacular student veterans and leaders on this campus.”