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$5,000 grant will help Albany veteran continue his education
Albany Herald - 5/17/2022
May 17—ALBANY — For one former soldier, his wish was for some money to pay off college debt so he could continue his education.
That wish came true through Soldier's Wish, which awarded Marion Loud of Albany a $5,000 grant to make his dream a reality.
Recently, American Legion Post 30 made the award to Loud, who in accepting the funding told post members that he had faced adversity through illness and other issues, including a friend committing suicide.
"It's just a blessing," Loud told The Herald after Post 30 Commander Dan Brewer announced the award. "I'm going to use it to further my education. I'm just thankful, like God gave me that opportunity of life."
Loud, who walks with a cane, is a former Georgia National Guard member who is finishing up a third degree in business management at Albany Technical College. The money will help him take the next step in attending Georgia Military College online to pursue advanced degrees.
"I had major back surgery in 2011," said Loud, who is assistant manager at the Hope Center in Albany. "I had two herniated discs. I have now been diagnosed with another ruptured disc in my back.
"Education is the key that turned my life around. Education and God turned my life around."
When the Legion post was looking for a deserving applicant, Al Wynn suggested Loud.
"When Dan told me about Soldier's Wish, I immediately thought about Marion," Wynn told the audience during the award ceremony. "Not only is he a great guy, but he wants to help his fellow man. He's just a great guy, and what better way to help him achieve his goals?"
After interviewing Loud, Brewer agreed with that assessment. He mentioned the veteran's work at the Hope Center helping members of the community acquire a GED. Brewer made the recommendation to Soldier's Wish, which approved the award.
"He definitely was a veteran in need," Brewer said during a telephone interview. "He's handicapped. He's not going to be able to continue to do what he's doing. He realizes he needs to further his education so he can get a job that's less physically demanding.
"He's trying. Education is expensive, and we said we might be able to help this guy. He is a nice guy. That makes it even better."
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