Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- There's a new scholarship program helping UMD students who are military veterans, active service members, or reservists.
A military style dog tag is helping heroes with the financial burdens of school as they transition into civilian life.
“This is for the UMD Heroes Scholarship fund, its $5 for a dog tag," Kolton Hendrickson, a Holiday Gas Station employee tells a customer.
It’s part of a fundraiser to grow the UMD Heroes fund. You can buy a military-style dog tag at Holiday gas stations in Duluth or on the UMD campus.
The fund was established by a couple who wants to give back and help those who fight for our country.
"Because we are not veterans, My wife and I, we feel we have a responsibility to give back to the men and women who have served and provide us with the freedom and safety we enjoy each day," Rick Smith, founder of the scholarship program said.
Adam Muilenburg is part of the Heroes Committee. He's already been deployed to East Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan and now he's working to make UMD a more veteran friendly campus. He expects to graduate in May and will deploy to Kuwait soon thereafter.
"People like me, that are in the guard and are mobilizing while they are at school or after, and are doing military training, will benefit from this scholarship," Muilenburg said.
Two students have received scholarship money so far from the fund, but the goal is to raise $25,000 to establish an endowment and open up eligibility to service members campus-wide.
"The first scholarship was $250, this year was $500, and we'll continue at $500 until the endowment is established, which would probably produce about $1,200 a year in scholarships," Smith said.
Each dog tag has a unique number and will be entered in a prize drawing at the Heroes fund event Thursday at Clyde Iron Works in Duluth.
The event begins at 4:30 p.m.
Donate to the Heroes Scholarship Fund.