Four Texas A&M University-Texarkana students have been inducted into SALUTE, the national honor society for veterans and active-duty military personnel.
Charles Jordan and Joseph Bennett, both of Texarkana, Texas, Clay Hunter of Mount Pleasant, Texas, and Judy Stevenson of Schwenksville, Pennsylvania, were inducted into the A&M-Texarkana chapter of SALUTE, which stands for Service, Academics, Leadership, Unity, Tribute and Excellence.
“SALUTE is the first honor society created for student veterans and military at two- and four-year higher education institutions nationwide,” said Dr. Corrine Hinton, assistant professor of English and SALUTE program director. “The organization was founded at Colorado State University in 2009 with an ACE/Wal-Mart Success for Veterans grant, and the A&M-Texarkana chapter was chartered in fall 2016.”
Charles Jordan, a graduate student at A&M-Texarkana, served in Operation Iraqi Freedom III from 2006 to 2007. He then served as a military technician for the DoD-USARC from 2009 to 2016. He was also deployed in support of Task Force Rita and Task Force Katrina. He said he felt called to join the military following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
As a constituent services liaison in Rep. John Ratcliffe’s office, Jordan’s primary responsibilities include processing veteran and military casework requests, helping veterans and service members navigate federal government agencies and veteran outreach. Last year alone, Rep. Ratcliffe’s staff served more than 850 constituents and helped recover $280,000 in frozen VA benefits.
Jordan has lived in the Texarkana area for 16 years with his wife and five children where he serves the community through his involvement with his church, the Randy Sams’ Outreach Shelter and prison ministry. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University-Texarkana, an associate degree from Anchor Theological Seminary and Bible Institute and is pursuing a master’s degree in Instructional Technology from A&M-Texarkana.
Joseph Bennett is originally from Texarkana, Texas, and graduated from Genoa Central High School in 2006. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 2006 to 2010 and reached the rank of corporal. While stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, he served as the non-commissioned officer in charge of logistical information systems, supporting the 2nd Marine Logistics Group. He deployed with this command and others to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Bennett, a senior, is in his fourth year at A&M-Texarkana after transferring from Texarkana College. He is currently in the process of completing a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree with a complement in Organizational Leadership.
He and his wife, Lily, an A&M-Texarkana alumna, are the parents of a 6-year-old daughter named Zoie and have a German Shepard puppy named Odin. Bennett currently works in the Information Management department at CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System.
Originally from Ore City, Texas, Clay Hunter graduated from Ore City High School in 1990. He served on active duty in the U.S. Army from June 1990 to December 1992 and as a member of the Army National Guard from 1992 to 1997.
While on active duty, Hunter served as a cargo specialist and a member of Ft. Bragg’s Arrival Departure Airlift Control Group with the 18th Airborne Corp., which played a major role in bringing all of America’s equipment into the Desert Shield/Storm campaign. He served in combat zones for both Desert Shield and Desert Storm. In the Army National Guard, he was an M1 Abram tank crewman and was deployed to Germany to help train NATO troops.
A business major, Hunter started night classes at Northeast Texas Community College in 2012. He graduated from NTCC in May 2016 and will complete his bachelor’s degree in December.
Hunter and his wife, Angela, are the parents of two sons, Addison and Michael. He is the son of Denese Weatherby of Ore City, Texas.
Originally from Norristown, Pennsylvania, Judy Stevenson graduated from Norristown High School and served in the U.S. Navy from September 1999 to December 2002, where she worked as a gas turbine systems technician (electrical) and achieved the rank of petty officer third class.
Stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, during Operation Enduring Freedom, she was on a six-month deployment in the Persian Gulf on Sept. 11, 2001.
A 2017 magna cum laude graduate of A&M-Texarkana, Stevenson received a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree.
She and her husband, Billy, are the parents of Colin and Samantha. She is the daughter of Linda Bradbury and Richard Pierson.
The A&M-Texarkana SALUTE chapter is accepting applications for fall term inductees. Interested students can visit www.tamut.edu/salute for more information about the society and how to join. Undergraduate and graduate student veterans with GPAs of at least 3.00 are encouraged to apply.
Larry Levy with the A&M-Texarkana Student Veterans Association serves as SALUTE program coordinator.
For more information, contact Dr. Hinton at Corrine.Hinton@tamut.edu