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2014 VALOR Scholars
I decided to join the military before I had even begun my senior year of high school. I enlisted in the U.S. Army as a Cryptologic Linguist at the age of 17 and was seated in a classroom learning Arabic shortly after my 18th birthday. After two years of intensive study in the Arabic language, I served with the 4th Infantry Division for two years in a garrison command, and two years in Iraq.
I knew that when I left the military I still wanted to provide services to the armed forces. Given that, I worked as a civilian providing intelligence support to military operations for three years following my enlistment termination. One of those three years was spent in Afghanistan working with a small group of Marines; the other two years were spent providing intelligence for multinational corroboration efforts. It was within doing this that I realized that I wanted to have a continued relationship with working towards the betterment of my country, and I knew that to do that I had to return to school.
I entered The George Washington University as a sophomore majoring in Economics. My education path here has taken me through a lot, has taught me a lot, and has given me a lot to share with others. The journey isn’t complete, however. I will spend the summer interning at the Department of Agriculture working for the Foreign Agricultural Service, and will head into my last semester at GWU this fall.
My name is Therren Dyson and I am an OIF/OEF veteran. I served for 5 years in the US Navy as an Operations Specialist and 3 years in the US Army as a Forward Observer. In the Navy, I deployed to many countries in Europe and the Mediterranean and in the Army I spent close to a year in fighting in Iraq. After getting out of the military I decided to go to college to learn more about the world from an academic perspective to complement the real world experiences I acquired during my time in service.
After enrolling at the George Washington University as a Political Science major, my curiosity about the world was met with a vast array of choices in terms of classes about everything from US Foreign policy, to conflict in the Middle East, to the relationship between religion, politics, and economics. I also learned to speak Spanish and Persian Farsi as way to bridge the cultural gap between what I learned from academia and real world application of that knowledge.
Having chosen a direction to go in life, my ultimate goal is to work as a linguist/translator either for the US government or in the private sector. I believe that with my past military experience, cultural knowledge, and academic achievements, that I would be best suited to this type of work and could be an asset to any number of Foreign policy goals. I attribute a large part of my potential success to the knowledge and research skills I acquired while studying at the George Washington University.