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SCC Salutes Our Student Veterans


Surry Community College would like to recognize and thank all of our students who are veterans for their service. If you are a student veteran or are using your parents' benefits at SCC and would like to submit a picture and information to be included on this tribute page, please contact Julie Pharr at

Jay McDougal

Jay McDougal, Veterans Affairs and Financial Aid Specialist for Surry Community College, served in the U.S. Army for 13 years, and medically retired in 2019. He specialized in aviation, most often fueling and flying in helicopters. He is pictured here with his son in Fort Campbell, Ky., in 2015. Jay now works at SCC and also takes classes in the Mechatronics degree program. View a video spotlight on Jay.

Jennifer Evans

Jennifer Evans served in the U.S. Army for 12 years as a Combat Engineer (12W) with a specialty in masonry and carpentry in the 882nd Engineer Company. She is pictured here in Fort Picket, Va., prior to deployment for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Jennifer suffered a severe head injury while deployed, and she is now medically retired and a 100% disabled veteran. She hopes to bring awareness to Chapter 31 benefits for veterans to be able to retrain after incurring disabilities. She will be graduating in Spring 2023 from SCC's Accounting and Finance program, where she will then go on to work at Veterans Affairs in her dream job - giving back to veterans. View a video spotlight on Jennifer.

Cody Anderson

Cody Anderson served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1998 to 2016, with an occupational specialty in explosive ordinance disposal. He then went on to work as a contractor through 2021. He is pictured here in Herat Provice, Afghanistan, in 2013. Cody served on nine deployments, mainly in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is now a student in the Construction Management program at SCC, learning how to build and fix things on his farm. View a video spotlight on Cody.

Micheal Chaffin

SPC Micheal Chaffin (right) served in the U.S. Army for three years, with an occupational specialty as a motor transport operator (88M). He is pictured here with SGT Andrew Cory in Fort Bragg, N.C. At the time of the photo, Micheal was a PFC, but he went on to become an SPC. He is now earning his Associates in Automotive Systems Technology.

Stephen Absher

Stephen Absher served in the U.S. Coast Guard as an AMT-1 (Aviation Maintenance Technician Petty Officer 1st Class), as a flight engineer on C-130s. He is pictured here walking off the plane after his last flight during retirement. Stephen worked on approximately 100 search and rescue cases during Hurricane Katrina; worked law enforcement in the Caribbean, seizing over $25 billion street value in drugs; received an award from the President for one deployment; and had over 4,000 flight hours at the time of his retirement. His daughter, Emily Calhoun, is using his benefits as a student in the Pre-Nursing program at SCC.

Veronika DiMeo

Veronika DiMeo served in the U.S. Navy for over 20 years, working in Public Health, Occupational Safety and Industrial Hygiene as a Compliance Officer. She was able to travel around the world, putting her Bachelor and Master degrees to use in Public Health, before retiring. She is now a student in the Viticulture and Enology program, hoping to earn two certificates. Her goal is to open her own small vineyard one day. View a video spotlight on Veronika.

Tahira Gatson

Tahira Gatson served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2017 to 2021. She spent two years stationed in Japan and two years at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Tahira currently takes classes at both Surry Community College and Pitt Community College.

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