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.
Read more of the KVEW-TV story here.
CWU Offers SALUTE to its Military-Veteran Students
As a way to further demonstrate its commitment to military veterans, Central Washington University is offering a SALUTE to those students. SALUTE, an acronym for Service, Academics, Leadership, Unity, Tribute, and Excellence, is a veterans’ national honor society.
CWU’s chapter, founded last September, is the first established in the Pacific Northwest, and is among 81 at colleges and universities nationwide.
SALUTE is an organization for American military and veterans in higher education, at both two- and four-year institutions. Members include retirees, disabled veterans, active duty military, National Guard, and reservists returning to higher education, starting second careers, or helping fund their college careers with military service.
“I’m very proud of the academic achievements of these students and of their service to our country” said Ralf Greenwald, CWU psychology professor and the faculty director of the CWU SALUTE chapter. Greenwald is also a US Navy veteran, whose service included the Gulf War. “The creation of this chapter marks another important step in CWU’s commitment to military veterans.”
While the national organization sets minimum standards for selecting students to be honored, each chartered institution is allowed to define additional criteria for induction into their local chapter.
To be inducted into the CWU chapter, students must have a minimum overall grade point average of 3.0 for undergraduate students or a GPA of 3.5 for graduate students. In addition, they must either have an honorable discharge from the armed forces, be currently serving on active duty, or in the National Guard or reserves.
The CWU SALUTE chapter recently inducted its five charter members during ceremonies on campus. The five military veteran charter inductees were:
· Zachary Felke, US Air Force, senior, Lynnwood, biology and pre-med major;
· Donald Galatis, US Army, senior, Kennewick, psychology;
· Natalie Juhlin, US Army, Selah, graduate student, experimental psychology, Applied Behavior Analysis masters program;
· Joshua Klinger, US Navy, junior, Sedro Woolley, environmental studies; and
· Kenji Norwood, US Navy, senior, Ellensburg, construction management.
“We’re always seeking new opportunities to create or reinforce the relationships we have with veterans and veterans’ groups,” said CWU President James L. Gaudino, a graduate of the US Air Force Academy and veteran who served in Turkey and Germany. “We want them to know that they’re welcome and valued here.”
Media contact: Robert Lowery, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1487, firstname.lastname@example.org