Kramer currently serves with the U.S. Air Force at Eielson Air Force Base, near the town of North Pole, Alaska. Since graduating from Naval School in Explosive Ordinance Disposal in 2003, she has deployed five times – twice each to Iraq and Afghanistan. Recognizing PTSD symptoms in her own life after her tours, Kramer is studying for her bachelor’s degree in psychology. She also plans to pursue advanced psychology degrees in order to counsel fellow veterans.
The number of ASU student veterans applying to become Tillman Military Scholars has consistently increased each year, according to Christian Rauschenbach, program manager at ASU’s Pat Tillman Veterans Center.
“This year we had 120 applicants for the Tillman Military Scholarships,” he said. “A committee of ASU staff members from Veteran Services, Veteran’s Upward Bound and Career Services had the tough job of choosing only 12 semi-finalists, which were then forwarded to the Pat Tillman Foundation for final selection.
“We are very excited that Diana was chosen – I know she will be an outstanding representative for ASU.”
In 2008, the Pat Tillman Foundation established the Tillman Military Scholars program to support educational opportunities for service members and military families by bridging the financial gaps that students often face, even though they may be using educational benefits. The scholarship covers direct study-related expenses, including tuition and fees, books and a living stipend. In providing this support, the Pat Tillman Foundation aims to remove obstacles that would otherwise prohibit academic and career success.
"The Tillman Military Scholars selected embody the same ideals that he lived by every day. Through our mission, we are proud to support and empower these outstanding leaders as they pursue their educational goals and strive to impact significant, positive change for our country and communities after their military service," said Marie Tillman, President and Co-founder of the Pat Tillman Foundation.
ASU continues to work closely with the Pat Tillman Foundation through several programs, as well as hosting Pat’s Run annually. “I’m glad to see that Pat’s Run has now expanded well beyond the annual Tempe event to shadow runs across the country, because it all goes towards helping the Tillman Military Scholars,” Rauschenbach said.
To date, the Pat Tillman Foundation has invested over $10 million in educational support and scholarships, benefiting 350 Tillman Military Scholars at more than 98 academic institutions nationwide.