Student Veterans Earning Top Honors

<p>Donny Galatis</p>

Donny Galatis

Donny Galatis isn't your average 23-year-old; he's currently a student at Central Washington University, and a veteran of the Iraq War.

After returning from overseas in August of 2009, he decided to enroll in the university.

"I always knew I wanted to come to school, I always knew I wanted to get my commission as an officer in the United States Army," said Galatis, "And ROTC seemed like the best way for it."

Over the last four years, Galatis earned a 3.95 grade point average, ranking him in the top 1% of cadets nationwide.

This weekend he will be graduating Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Psychology.

In addition, Galatis, along with four other CWU military veterans were recently inducted into the SALUTE program, which stands for Service, Academics, Leadership, Unity, Tribute and Excellence.

SALUTE is an honors program started by the school last September.

In order to qualify for SALUTE, students must be currently serving in the United States Armed Forces and maintain a GPA of at least 3.0, or 3.5 for honors.

Administrators at the Student Veterans Office say SALUTE is just like any other honors program.

However, in this program, students can earn a ranking based on their GPA; from Alpha, to Bravo, to Charlie to Delta; Alpha being a GPA of at least a 3.9 or higher.

"There's this false perception that veterans are not intelligent," said outreach recruiter Ruben Cardenas, "This proves that veterans can get educated and excel in their academics."

"[for the] Veterans or people that are in the active service coming back and going to school, you can succeed," said Galatis, "And there's ways out there to be recognized."

In addition to receiving his degree, Donny Galatis will also be promoted to a Second Lieutenant Commissioned Officer.