Specialist Mari Geronimo, US Army

imageMari was born in the Philippines but has lived in San Diego, California, since 2002. She enlisted in the US Army in 2008.

While conducting a deployment training in November 2010, a large steel pipe fell and hit Mari in the head, causing her to suffer a concussion. Not letting the injury hold her back, she deployed to Iraq later that same month.

During her deployment, in May 2011, indirect fire impacted various locations of the camp where Mari was stationed. Mari was within the casualty producing range and, as a result, was diagnosed with severe post traumatic stress (PTS). The enemy engagement included 48 rounds fired and happened two days after President Barack Obama had announced the death of Osama Bin Laden.

Currently, Mari is a full-time student of health information technology at California College and has a 3.47 GPA. She is hoping to serve her community after graduation. She has two sons, Christopher and Gabriel, who are her motivation to pursue her dreams.

“[SOF is] part of my success. I cannot thank you enough for the help that you have given to me and my family. Without this scholarship, it would be very difficult for me to graduate.”