Rachel Frizzell, Chattanooga, Tenn. – Jeremy Bryson from East Ridge, Tenn. is the co-chairman of the Student-Veteran’s organization on campus and works for Rover, a non-profit organization.
Bryson is a 16-year Army veteran and was deployed to Iraq three times. He is married and has two children. “That’s my life right now,” Bryson said. “Going to school and being with my kids.”
Summer 2015 was Bryson’s first term at UTC.
“I would come to school, do my classes, and then leave,” Bryson said. “And never did anything with UTC. A lot of veterans would do that.”
After starting classes, Bryson’s son heard that there was a football game. When they arrived at the game, the softball team immediately welcomed Bryson’s son.
“Just to see the look on my son’s face it made me want to keep doing things with my son,” he said. “And it was usually all centered around UTC’s athletics.”
“When you’re a veteran and you’re dealing with PTSD and depression, you have to have things you look forward to. And one of my things was always an athletic event,” said Bryson. “It was really the athletic department that really got me out of my shell and allowed me to be a better father to my son, which in turn led me to be a better husband, and then a better citizen. It was really truly the athletic department that pulled me out of my slump.”
The welcome the UTC athletics department gave Bryson made him seek out the Student-Veteran’s organization (SVO). Bryson said that the SVO revealed to him his passion to help other veterans.
The work Bryson does at Rover and the SVO is helping move towards this goal. At Rover, he helps veterans get out of the house and into social situations. As the co-chairman at the SVO, Bryson is a representative and advocate for student-veterans. Bryson envisions UTC becoming the premier student-veteran friendly school across the nation.
“I know that we are, but other people don’t,” he said.“As much as UTC, the school, has taught me things, the students have taught me even more,” Bryson said. “I see great things from the students all the time that make me proud that I come to this institution.”