TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – Every year, the Tillman Foundation honors dozens of veterans or active duty service members who are full-time students as Tillman Scholars. Wesley Stiner is one of them.
"I come from a pretty military background, older brother's a marine," he said. "My father was a Marine. Both of my grandfathers were in the Navy and it goes back to WWII and so on before that."
Stiner's love for America is as real as it gets.
"We grew up with the slogan or saying, 'America needs warriors,'" Stiner said.
Sheppard has found a home right here in the Valley after spending six years in the Navy.
After high school, Wesley went to the University of Oklahoma - where he joined the school's ROTC program before joining the Marine Corps for seven years. He eventually got married and had children. That's when he started to plan the next chapter in life.
"I had my wife and we had our second daughter. And so looking down the line, I wanted to be present more and not potentially deploy. So that was ultimately the most significant factor in deciding to resign my commission and leave active service," said Stiner.
When Casaundra Wallace was in college, she knew she wanted to be a Tillman Scholar.
But before his year was up, he started preparing for his next chapter to become an attorney.
In 2016 he received the news that he was awarded the Tillman Scholarship. Now he serves as an attorney helping other veterans.