When Summer Chapline came across The American Legion Legacy Scholarship, she knew it was “an amazing opportunity” for someone like herself who met the qualifications. Her father, Joseph Chapline, served in the U.S. Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom and passed away in September 2015 from injuries sustained during service.
“He loved serving this country and has set an amazing example for myself and my siblings (sisters Macie and Aspen),” said Chapline, who lives with her godparents in Shawnee, Okla., and attends Indiana University (IU) in Bloomington, Ind. “My father always taught us to be grateful for this country, as well as the freedoms we have here. Our father was our superhero.”
Chapline is a 2019 recipient of The American Legion Legacy Scholarship which is awarded to children of post-9/11 veterans who were either killed on active duty or who have a combined VA disability rating of 50 percent or greater. The deadline to apply or reapply to the scholarship for the 2020 year is April 15. Apply online at www.legion.org/scholarships/legacy.
The Legacy Scholarship is making it possible for Chapline to attend IU and study Arabic and International Studies with a minor in International Relations.
“I am forever grateful to The American Legion for helping make (attending IU) possible for me,” Chapline said. “When I saw that I was eligible for the scholarship, I immediately felt relief. I knew that college was going to be very expensive for me, as I have always planned to pay for it on my own. Upon finding the scholarship, I got very excited as I realized that it was possible for me to go to an out-of-state college and still manage to obtain scholarships that support students who likely do not have a lot of financial resources or family members to help them in this area.”
Besides receiving The American Legion Legacy Scholarship, studying Arabic is another way Chapline is honoring her father’s military service – Joseph learned language skills in Arabic and Farsi.
“I have always admired what he has done for this country, and I wanted to follow his footsteps in some way,” Chapline said. She would like to use her skills following college by working for the government in a capacity that allows her to serve her country, like her father.
“My father taught us that in life that if you want to make a difference, you have to do something greater than yourself. I have always looked up to my dad, and he is the entire reason I study what I am currently studying. Because of my father, I want to make a difference in the world and protect our country. My father instilled a strong sense of patriotism in every one of us, and I plan to hold on to this for the entirety of my life.”
As part of IU’s Arabic Flagship Program, the Legacy Scholarship also is helping Chapline study abroad this summer in Morocco. And it’s allowed her to focus on her studies without the need to get a job, as well as participate in student activities such as being a Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies student ambassador.
“I would like to thank The American Legion,” Chapline said. “It warms my heart to know that organizations such as The American Legion care about the services and lives of veterans and their families. I know that my father would be incredibly grateful for (The American Legion) as well.
“I am considered a ward of the state with no financial help from family members. Coming to college was the biggest financial challenge that I have ever had. I just want The American Legion to know just how grateful I am to them, as well as how much they have helped me to achieve this year.”