In addition to the annual Memorial Day ceremony at the Stillwater Veterans Memorial, memorial staff also awarded a military scholarship to a Stillwater student.
Stillwater Area High School (SAHS) senior Holton King is the inaugural recipient of the Stillwater Veterans Memorial Military Service Scholarship Award. King, who will head to Tulane University in New Orleans, La. in the fall as a member of the Orleans Army Reserve Officer Training Corps Battalion, accepted his $500 scholarship at the Monday, May 27 Memorial Day ceremony, at the Stillwater Veterans Memorial, located at Third and Pine Streets in Stillwater.
King will also head to Tulane University with a four-year Army ROTC scholarship, he said, where he plans to study cultural anthropology with a minor in Spanish.
“I definitely always envisioned myself in the military,” King said. “I feel like it’s a little bit of my duty to give something back.”
David Ratte, chair of the Stillwater Veterans Memorial, said the memorial started the scholarship award to give back to the community and support area high school graduates who are going into the military.
Ratte said King is professional and hard-working. Ratte added King is not only mentally and physically fit as a three-sport athlete, but his family also has a heritage of military service. Both of his parents are veterans, Ratte said.
“Holton has that trifecta,” Ratte said. “Holton has it within himself — a heart of service.”
King plays football, basketball and baseball at SAHS. While he said he’s unsure about what he wants to do in the army, he’s considering following the footsteps of his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, who all served as field artillery officers.
“That’s kind of what I’m aiming for. I would be fourth generation,” he said.
The scholarship, which is funded through the St. Croix Valley Foundation and the Stillwater Veterans Memorial, is in honor of Ratte’s parents, Jim and Joan Ratte, who were long-time Stillwater residents.
Ratte, his four brothers and father Jim served in the military and his son currently serves in the military. There is about 130 years of military experience between the six men, Ratte added.
“I’m honored to be receiving the scholarship,” King added. “I hope to make you all proud.”
A portion of the foundation funds also goes to Youth Advantage, a Stillwater nonprofit that helps children in financially-challenged families participate in arts, athletics and educational activities. Ratte said he and his brothers participated in sports through Youth Advantage.
“We also want to support the athletic side,” Ratte said.
Contact Kim Schneider at firstname.lastname@example.org