Wounded Warrior Project

Carrying on the Legacy of Veterans

By Culture + Community, Events

Over Memorial Day weekend, the Noorda-COM Student Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons Club (SAMOPs) hosted a Wounded Warrior Project “Carry Forward 5k” in Provo Canyon. All of campus was invited to participate and faculty, students, staff, and family members showed up to support SAMPOPs’ efforts.

Wounded Warrior participants are encouraged to walk, jog, or run with a U.S. flag to show support. Some participants of Saturday’s event even ran with weights, to represent the responsibility that veterans bear. Erik Jones, a second-year, HPSP student doctor who organized the event, was one of those participants who went the extra mile.

“As a future military physician, I find it essential to connect with those actively defending our country,” Jones explained. “While I may not be the one carrying a fellow soldier to safety, running the 5l with extra weight has given me a deeper appreciation for those who perform such remarkable feats. Remembering those who have been injured physically or mentally, or who have made the ultimate sacrifice, has motivated me to work harder. Carrying the extra weight served as a reminder of why I chose to become a physician and serve in the military.”

Erik Jones (second to left) poses with a group of participants.

Noorda-COM is proud to call itself home to a variety of military members, supporters, and professionals, including employee veterans, active-duty members through the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP), and Veteran Affairs HPSP students.  

HPSP is a scholarship agreement between medical students and the Army, Navy, VA, or Air Force, where students receive a full tuition scholarship and a stipend for living expenses. Among other requirements that follow after graduation, HPSP recipients are on active duty 45 days per year and in the reserves the rest of the year. (Though VA HPSP students are not active duty members.) Depending on their branch, students are also required to serve as a military physician for several years after completing their residency program.

Noorda-COM has a high number of HPSP students–56, to be exact. Aveline Langmead, a first-year and the vice president of SAMOPs, shared why she chose to enroll in the Health Professions Scholarship Program.

(Some of Noorda-COM’s HPSP students in fall of 2023; Aveline Langmead pictured on the far right corner.)

“Growing up playing sports, I was always drawn to working within a team and working towards something much greater than myself,” Langmead explained. “Thus, when the HPSP scholarship opportunity presented itself, I felt that it aligned with many of my goals, while allowing me to play a role in one of the biggest ‘teams’ in the world. I believe serving in the military after medical school will allow me to not only care for my future patients, but to care for those and their families that work to protect our country. Being the first person in my family to serve in the military, I was fortunate to have an incredible community at Noorda-COM to learn from and navigate this journey with. Alongside the incredible career, character building, and leadership opportunities, the HPSP scholarship provides financial peace of mind while traversing your medical education. I am beyond proud and fortunate to serve as a member of Noorda’s HPSP program and the U.S. Navy.” 

Whether in white coats or branch uniforms, we are proud of our students and their dedication to serving our country.