ALTON - Alton VFW Post 1308 has announced a special Scholarship Opportunity for Special Forces Veterans, with a deadline of June 1, 2022.

Captain James AhnThis scholarship is in memory of Captain James Ahn, a graduate of UC Riverside and the Claremont McKenna College Army ROTC program, who died in 2015 during a parachute training operation while participating with his Special Forces unit in Washington State.

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"For all of us who knew and loved James, he will never be forgotten. He was the consummate person and professional who was respected by everyone he came in contact with."

In James’ honor, this annual scholarship of $1,000 is sponsored for a Special Forces Veteran who is working towards the completion of a higher education degree.

“He had a big smile and would always grin ear to ear,” Master Sgt. Dan Linderman said. “He always found time to smile about something and made friends with our Asian counterparts. They latched onto him.”


  • Former Special Forces Service Member
  • Full-time student pursuing degree/certification completion at an accredited post-secondary institution including graduate school, university, college, community college, or vocational/technical institution.
  • Applications for the 2022 Academic year are due by June 1, 2022.

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Click HERE to apply or for more information about the scholarship.

Previous Scholarship Recipients

Sergeant Major Brandon Brewington2021 Recipient, Sergeant Major (U.S. Army, Retired) Brandon Brewington

His reflections on his career and on the Ahn Scholarship:
“I joined Special Forces shortly after the tragedy on September 11, 2001. After completing the Special Forces Qualification Course, I quickly found myself deploying to Afghanistan as a Special Forces Engineer Sergeant supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. It was evident as a young Non-Commissioned Officer that I had to step up my game, not only to perform my job but more importantly, not to fail my detachment brothers. During these experiences, I stood next to America’s finest doing work that most Americans would never hear of or even understand.

Sadly, my time in Special Forces came to an end in June 2020 as I retired with 24 years of service and a total of eleven deployments across, Afghanistan, Iraq, and several countries spanning from West and East North Africa. After retiring, I moved my family back to Nashville to help build a stronger connection with our larger family network in Tennessee. While adjusting to the foreign world of civilian life, I have continued an educational path in business to support my electrical small business and merchant wholesaler small business established over this past year.

As I reflect on my time in the military, I know my family is better because of the experiences and relationships forged during my time in Special Forces. The Captain James Ahn Memorial Scholarship is a reminder of how our Special Forces community continues to support and uplift Special Forces soldiers after their time in the regiment. Thank you for standing with my family.”

Scholarship information link:

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