Father’s Service to Country Motivates ESU Student

Posted by: Elizabeth Richardson on November 8, 2017, No Comments

When Sarah Heidecker was growing up, her father often emphasized the importance of education. Today, Sarah is working towards her degree and uses her father’s service to our country as motivation in her educational endeavors.

Master Sergeant Joseph Heidecker served 28 years between his time with the United States Army and the National Guard before he was wounded in combat and subsequently retired. He had been deployed on multiple combat missions, worked during states of emergency in Pennsylvania, and served on active duty in Hershey, Pa.

To help defray the cost of college, Heidecker’s father searched for different scholarships offered to children of military veterans. He came across Folds of Honor, an organization dedicated to providing educational scholarships to children and spouses of men and women who were injured or killed in the line of duty.

“I am extremely grateful to have received this scholarship, which helps a lot to offset the cost of attendance,” Heidecker said. She also found the ESU Veteran’s Center to be beneficial during her transition to ESU.

“June Pepe from Veteran’s Services was extremely helpful throughout the process. I still stop by and see her every so often. It’s a great service to have on campus,” Heidecker said.

While Heidecker’s father is no longer in the military, he is still involved in serving his country.

“He works a civilian job now, helping build submarine parts for the Navy. It’s close to home which is really nice,” said Heidecker.

Sergeant Heidecker chose a job where he can help those who are still serving, just like Folds of Honor helps families of those who dedicated their life to serving our country.

In recent years, Folds of Honor has gained a lot of attention and secured large corporate sponsors. Budweiser, Coca-Cola, and NASCAR all work to help support the foundation and the scholarships they giveaway.

“The scholarship foundation is amazing and it’s so great that there is something out there to help the families of those who are injured or killed,” said Heidecker.

Folds of Honor allows scholarships to be awarded and then put on hold until the child reaches the age to enter college. This provides young children who have lost a parent in the line duty easier access to higher education.

Heidecker uses her father as motivation and takes with her the principle of service in her academic and career goals. Currently undeclared, she plans on majoring in nursing and would eventually like to get her certification in trauma.

“I would really like to work in an emergency room with trauma patients,” Heidecker said.

For now, Sarah Heidecker plans to get involved on campus while working towards her career goals. She uses the scholarship from Folds of Honor as motivation to keep serving others.

Visit the office of veterans’ affairs for more information, email veterans@esu.edu, or contact June Pepe in the Student Enrollment Center at (570) 422-2812.