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Wednesday, April 13, the EC Support Our Troops club held their second annual Dinner With the Troops in the Fenway Room. There were four speakers at the dinner, including members of the National Guard, Air Force, British Special Forces, and returning speaker CJ Beck. Each of the guests shared their experiences and involvement with the military.
Development Associate for Community Relations-N.E. Center for Homeless Veterans
After graduating from BU with degrees in neuroscience and psychology, CJ entered the Center through the AmeriCorps VISTA program where he was tasked with the opportunity reinforce the Community Affairs program by increasing capacity in the areas of volunteerism, outreach, and community support, most notably the Gift-a-Vet program. CJ was then hired by NECHV to continue his work and has done so for the last three years full-time. His currently leverages volunteer support in the fundraising sector, helping the Center raise 2.6 million dollars annually. Through the newly revamped Meal Sponsorship Program, he hopes to be able to engage volunteers in generous giving while also providing direct support to Veterans in transition. Hailing from a family of Marine Corps service members, CJ’s main interests include increasing the quality of life for Veterans returning home and bridging the community with Veterans.
Matthew “Maddi” Coker-Georges
British Special Forces Retiree
Maddi started at 12 years old in the Trinidad and Tobago Cadet Force, and attended the Barataria Secondary School, now known as Delta Company. In a four-year journey, he also became a Company Quarter Master Sergeant. He then enlisted in the British Army where he managed to become the best recruit in the Royal Corps of Signals. He then was promoted to Lance Corporal and then to Full Corporal 18 months later. He attended Sandhurst, a military academy, to perform his sergeant’s course and became a radio and data telegraphist. He had the chance to ride the Blues and Royals Horses for two mayor’s parades in London and provided signals security for one of the Queen’s birthday parades. After earning his beret and badge, his commanding officer submitted his name for special force’s selection. He then went on to do three tours in Northern Ireland and was an instructor for British Forces in Desert Shield and part of the advance for Desert Storm.
Unites States Air Force Retiree // Emmanuel College professor- War and Peace course
Rose Gould has extensive international experience living, working and traveling in over forty-five countries. During a twenty-year career in the United States Air Force plus civilian humanitarian work stateside and abroad, she has accumulated a wealth of experience working in critical incidents, disasters and conflict zones. Among some of her military deployments were Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany primarily serving in the Intensive Care Unit and Ramstein AFB Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility dealing with the Medevacs from Afghanistan and Iraq. During both deployments, Rose was pivotal in helping Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines deal with a plethora of issues such as loss of limbs, comrade’s deaths, paralyzing guilt and post-traumatic stress. Her final deployment before retiring in 2010 was with the Joint Special Operations Task Force in the Southern Philippines where she trained over 800 personnel from the Philippines Red Cross, National Police, armed forces and various medical, political, academic, and community institutions in crisis intervention and disaster response. She is currently teaching the War and Peace Course at Emmanuel College.
Tyler St. Jaques
Healthcare specialist // Emmanuel College freshman
A combat medic with the 1st Battalion, 102D Infantry Division, Connecticut Army National Guard. He enlisted in the Military during high school and attended basic training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, where he was recognized as “Top Shot” with the Army Achievement Medal. After graduating high school, he attended Advanced Individual Training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. He was recognized for Physical Fitness Excellence and completed EMT certification along with becoming certified in advanced medical procedures.
“I think the dinner was a huge success. It was really awesome to see the result of our hard work and just how much the speakers brought to the table. I learned a lot and I hope everyone else there did too!” said club executive board member, Sydney Dacosta ’17.
Anna Topping ’17 is a staff writer and the Social Media Editor of The Hub. She can be contacted at email@example.com and on Twitter @annaytopping.
Photos courtesy of Aimee Gaumond ’17