Bryent Smothermon PTSD Awareness Scholarship

Funded by
Bryent Smothermon
Learn more about the Donor
$1,000
1 winner$1,000
In Review
Application Deadline
May 14, 2022
Winners Announced
Jun 14, 2023
Education Level
Graduate, Undergraduate
Recent Bold.org scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Background:
Military veteran or child of a military veteran
Background:
Military veteran or child of a military veteran

In 2021, the world lost a selfless, kind, and thoughtful son, grandson, brother, nephew, cousin, and best friend when Bryent Smothermon passed away.

Born on Flag Day, his love of the military, country, and the sense of comradery he felt led Bryent to have an accomplished career in the military before he left this world too early. 

Bryent, or as his close friends and family would call him B or Smo, was the life of the party. He was a fierce protector of those closest to him, a miracle worker with kids, an animal lover, a gentle soul, and most of all was behind many laughs and happy times. He was always focused on ensuring everyone around him was having a good time and laughing. Bryent had strong values, lifelong friendships, and great memories that were created in his short time on earth. 

To honor his legacy, the Bryent Smothermon PTSD Awareness Scholarship exists to support military veterans and their children and spouses who have suffered from PTSD due to their service. All military vets, military spouses, and children of military vets currently in school are eligible. 

To apply, please write about how your experience with military service-related PTSD has affected you. Please also discuss how you hope to use your experience to help other veterans who are currently suffering from PTSD.

Selection Criteria:
Essay, Veteran, PTSD, Ambition
Published June 14, 2022
$1,000
1 winner$1,000
In Review
Application Deadline
May 14, 2022
Winners Announced
Jun 14, 2023
Education Level
Graduate, Undergraduate
Recent Bold.org scholarship winners
Essay Topic

What have you learned about yourself or the world around you through your experiences with service-related PTSD? How do you hope to use your experience to help other veterans who are currently suffering from PTSD?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Bobbi Schroeder-Beavers
Southern Adventist UniversityChatsworth, GA
After returning from Iraq in 2005, it was very obvious that I was having issues with living my life as it was before my deployment. As an 88M (Truck Driver) in the Nebraska Army National Guard, we were considered the biggest target on the road. It just seemed like a day to day occurrence to be shot at, IED's going off, and getting mortared at camps. You become numb to it all since it just becomes the new normal. Returning home, I began having a hard time just driving around the small town in which I lived. I was on guard for IED's, and even garbage bags on the side of the road would cause me to begin to hyperventilate and I would break down crying. I began to learn to live with PTSD. I was a single mother with 4 children, and they relied on me. When they were younger, it was easier to get them to go places with me to allow me to have that comfort of not being alone in public. Having that security blanket in them. As they grew older, it was harder to get them to go with me, and I began to retreat back into myself. The VA was of little help. It seemed that once I began to get comfortable with one therapist, they would quit and I would have to wait months, on months, just to be seen again. Medications did not seem to work, and it felt as though my PTSD was getting worse. It began affecting my health more and more each day. Finally I was assigned to a new PA in our local VA clinic. He realized what I was going through, and began advocating for me to get help outside the VA since they were not able to accommodate my mental health needs. I was able to talk to someone who was not associated with the VA, and began to grasp at normalcy in my life. I also decided to go back to school. I finished my bachelors degree in 2007, 2 years after getting home from Iraq. I then decided to begin to dedicate my life to help my fellow veterans. The continuing statistic of 22 soldier committing suicide everyday because of the lack of proper mental health care after a dear friend committed suicide pushed me to change my life. I went back to school, and got my Masters of Arts in Human Services counseling. I applied for jobs with the VA, but kept getting denied because it was not a licensed degree. It was more for group therapy and mediation. That angered me. I want to help, so I bit the bullet and returned to school to work on getting my Masters of Social Work. I will be graduating this next year, and I plan on after getting that degree to specialize in Art Therapy, and become an advocate for service animals. I have realized that until we have adequate mental health services for those who have served our country, and have eradicated the statistic of 22 men and women from taking their lives, we need to do our best to advocate for change. That is my goal in life. To be the change that can save a life.

FAQ

When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is May 14, 2022. Winners will be announced on Jun 14, 2023.

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