Garrett Burgess, a junior at West Virginia University, is an Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Flight Commander who has distinguished himself as a leader on campus. As the roles and paths that Garrett has chosen for himself clearly reveal, he has a deep commitment to our country and our veterans, one that he wishes to honor through public service. He is uniquely positioned to serve as an effective agent of change in addressing public problems and building equitable communities. Garrett is looking forward to working with the Veterans Advocacy Clinic in the WVU College of Law for his Newman Civic Fellowship project.
My involvement and advocacy for veterans' issues stem from my own contract to the United States Air Force, along with my family history and personal experiences with military veterans. It has been my dream since childhood to serve my country in the military, representing the principles and beliefs that were instilled in me by my family, community, and country. Through my own commitment to serve as well as my personal history with the veteran community I began to advocate for past, present, and even future veterans' success while communicating the issues that affect them the most. On campus, I ran for Student Government under a platform of veteran and ROTC advocacy, and after being elected, secured early class registration for ROTC members, and organized the first ever Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) talks with student veterans. As well, I currently serve as the President of WVU's Silver Wings community service chapter, which aims to combine both civilian and military communities on campus for participation in community wide service projects. Further, I am involved in multiple student organizations, aimed at gaining statewide and student support for public policies that would particularly benefit the veteran community in the state of West Virginia.