Class of June 2019
Rebecca Patterson served six years in the US Navy (2005-2011) and deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of the War on Terrorism. Upon separation, she attended the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (UWM) to earn her Bachelor of Science in chemistry. While at UWM, she served as president of the Student Veterans of America chapter and the inaugural veteran advocacy senator in Student Association.
After learning about the use of burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan and conducting further research, she decided to continue her education at the University of Maryland (UMD) to study environmental health. She graduated in 2018 with a Master of Public Health in environmental health sciences. Rebecca is now an assistant director for the Veterans Health Council of Vietnam Veterans of America, where she focuses on veteran health outcomes related to toxic exposures during military service.
Amanda Burrill is from Maine, attended Boston University (Navy ROTC), and was commissioned into the Navy in May 2002. At Surface Warfare Officer School in Newport, Rhode Island, she was further trained in navigation, combat systems and ammunition administration, before checking aboard her ship in San Diego. By early January 2003, she was deployed.
She served two tours in the surface Navy, deploying to Iraq, Kuwait, and around the Pacific Rim and serving as both a Surface Officer and Rescue Swimmer. She traded coveralls and wetsuit for fatigues, serving two tours with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group One (EODGRU ONE). After being honorably discharged, she joined the active reserves for two tours, separating completely in April of 2010.
Tommy Rowland was born and raised on Oahu, Hawai'i before enlisting in the Marines in January 2012. He split his enlisted time between sunny 29 Palms, CA and much sunnier Helmand Province, Afghanistan with 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion in a counter-IED role in 2013. In 2016 he left active-duty to pursue college full-time. A year after his separation and looking for a renewed sense of purpose Tommy Rowland participated in The Mission Continues Fellowship program and served as a junior researcher for Swords to Plowshares. For the last two years, he has continued to work for Swords to Plowshares. At this agency, he has been focused on the education of veterans and advocacy as both a veteran and student leader.