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Keesler civilian receives Veteran Champion of the Year for Higher Education

Louis Bridges, 81st Force Support Squadron education service specialist, poses in his office inside the Sablich Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Aug. 9, 2021. Bridges was one of 19 individuals nationwide to win the 2021 Veteran Champion of the Year award.

Louis Bridges, 81st Force Support Squadron education service specialist, poses in his office inside the Sablich Center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Aug. 9, 2021. Bridges was one of 19 individuals nationwide to win the 2021 Veteran Champion of the Year award.

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

Louis Bridges, 81st Force Support Squadron education service specialist, was selected as one of the 2021 Veteran Champions of the Year for Higher Education.

The award is given to individuals who champion the recruitment, hiring, retention and career advancement of veterans. Bridges accomplished this by leading the higher education learning track, helping veterans continue their education once they transition out of the military.

“I work in the same office as Louis and he is constantly helping students, both active duty and veterans, achieve their educational goals,” said Elliott Voivedich, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University associate campus director. “He’s responsible for administering educational services with an emphasis on Veterans Opportunity to Work programs, adult education services and curriculum development.”

Bridges was nominated for the award by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and, of the 19 people who won this award nationwide, he was the only one from a military installation.

 “It’s always nice to be recognized,” said Bridges. “Personally I get more out of individuals reaching out to me and thanking me for helping they get to a position to be successful.”

As a retired master sergeant and veteran, Bridges says he understands the value of post-secondary education.

 “Once people transition out of the military higher education ensures they remain on the same playing field as their peers,” said Bridges. “All veterans have work experience in some capacity, some just lack the educational requirements to be competitive in the civilian job market.

Bridges said he will continue to serve the veteran community in the best way possible.

“We’re all going to take the uniform off one day,” said Bridges. “Now it’s my job to make sure all veterans know how to be successful, not only in the military but outside the military as well.”