Two Texas A&M University student veterans have been selected as 2019 Tillman Scholars, the Pat Tillman Foundation announced last month.
Blaze Belobrajdic and Justin Gor were named to the 11th class of Tillman Scholars in recognition of their service, leadership and potential. Texas A&M is one of 15 university partners that collaborate with the Pat Tillman Foundation to identify candidates for the program, which supports active duty service members, veterans and military spouses by investing in their education and professional development.
“Texas A&M University is pleased to be a university partner of the Pat Tillman Foundation. We are exceptionally proud of the two Aggies that were selected to join the 2019 Tillman class,” said Texas A&M Director of Scholarship & Veterans Services Nora Cargo. “Blaze and Justin have commendable service and proven leadership both in and out of the classroom. They are exemplary individuals who will have incredible impact in the future. This scholarship program provides more than funding — it provides a unique opportunity to belong to a dynamic network of individuals from across the country who support one another’s pursuits for the betterment of the nation.”
Belobrajdic entered the United States Naval Academy in 2001 as a midshipman, and in May 2005 was commissioned as a helicopter pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps. He served for 12 years as a UH-1Y pilot and was deployed three times to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and once while attached to Special Operations Command — Africa. Belobrajdic enrolled at Texas A&M after leaving active duty and is seeking a master’s degree in aerospace engineering.
Gor enlisted in the Navy at age 18 as a corpsman and was deployed twice with the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division. He provided medical care and taught the basics of trauma management to Marines and local foreign nationals. Gor decided to pursue higher education and is now a student in the Texas A&M College of Medicine.
Belobrajdic and Gor are among 60 U.S. service members, veterans and military spouses in the newly selected class of Tillman Scholars who will receive more than $1.2 million in scholarships to pursue higher education and continue their service in their respective fields.
The foundation was established after the April 2004 death of Pat Tillman, a former player for the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals. Tillman had put his NFL career on hold to enter the military and died while serving with the 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan. The foundation established in his honor provides academic scholarships to military veterans and their spouses.