For the third consecutive year, the VCU Center for Sport Leadership has a military veteran enrolled in our graduate program. Former Staff Sergeant Tony Lee served in the United States Army for 20 years before retiring in June 2016. He was deployed twice to Iraq and also Korea. He is currently enrolled in the VCU Center for Sport Leadership, scheduled to graduate with a M.Ed in 2018.
by Tony Lee, CSL Graduate Student
Growing up, I never saw a great example of true leadership. I entered the Army at 18 years old, not knowing what the future held for me. I did know, above all else, I wanted to be a leader. I wanted to be the person that everyone looked up to and had the knowledge to give back. I have taken what I have learned from others over the twenty-plus years in the military and put it in a kit-bag for the next chapter of my life.
My passions in life have lead me towards sports, leadership and helping young adults discover and develop into their full potential. During my service in the military, I realized the powerful impact positive and thoughtful leadership has on young adults. There is true and unlimited potential when combining- leadership with sports. With a Master’s Degree in Education/Sports Leadership, I will cultivate the tools necessary to implement those ideals at the high school and/or collegiate level.
After 20 years of military service and fighting in two wards, I don’t look at myself as a hero. I feel that I have done my job and what was intended for me to do in life. There is not one thing that is special about me being a retired Army veteran. Veterans Day is a special day for all of us to recognize the hard work, suffering and dedication that our armed forces, active and retired, living and deceased, gave to our country. I do believe all veterans should be continuously recognized and honored for their strength, determination, character and courage to defend this great nation of ours.
Tony Lee is scheduled to graduate with a M.Ed in 2018.