John David Fry Scholarship: A Brief Overview

When I set out to write an article or blog post, I research. I must admit that as I read material to put together today’s post, I cried. And as writing this piece, I will shed more tears.

In all honesty, I recall a certain song by John Lennon at this moment…

I Imagine

that this scholarship will not have to be used. Because no one will be eligible for it. And, I believe John David Fry would agree with what I am saying.

Before I give you a brief overview of the John David Fry Scholarship, let me tell you about this soldier, son, husband, father and leader whose name is on this scholarship.

Who Is John David Fry

Courtesy of eod warrior foundation

John David Fry was a hero. Deployed to Iraq with the 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C, John was an explosive ordinance disposal technician. And a great one at that!

You see, Gunnery Sergeant Fry could have come home with a bronze star after he injured his hand, but he chose to stay because he was needed to keep his fellow soldiers safe from make-shift explosives.

On a stress-filled day… March 8th, 2006, Gunnery Sergeant Fry had defused one explosive and was hard at work on another. But… Sorry, but I can’t tell you… the tears.

John David Fry left behind his wife Malia and 3 children:

  1. Kathryn – 9
  2. Gideon – 7
  3. and C.L. – 2

And how John loved children… Just consider some of his actions in Iraq:

2 Situations Showing Gunnery Sergeant Fry’s Love For Children

Fry and other Marines were called to a house where they discovered a mentally retarded teenager who was severely beaten and chained to a wall. He was wearing an explosives-filled vest that Fry volunteered to disarm. He did and they took the child to safety.

Fry was called to disarm an improvised explosive device in the backyard of a home. To get a better view, he climbed up on the house and discovered a young boy — about the age of his youngest son — peeking over a wall. “They played peek-a-boo for several minutes until John gained the boy’s trust and got him to safety,” Malia said. “He told us this was the first time he really understood why he needed to be there. He said he wanted to be sure children didn’t have to play in backyards with IEDs.”

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Representative Chet Edwards – Texas Democrat

Upon hearing about John David Fry, the Texas Representative Chet Edwards made sure it was Fry’s name on a new scholarship that would help children of fallen soldiers get an education.

There was not a dry eye in that auditorium the day Edwards announced the John David Fry scholarship as the soldier’s children and wife Malia sat in the front row.

Being a heavy proponent of the future of our children, I would like to thank Representative Edwards and even more so, Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry because we must look after our children’s future because children are our future.

And as a provision, past President Obama signed into the scholarship that surviving spouses are eligible.

Eligibility Requirements To Receive The John David Fry Scholarship

Now I will tell you the eligibility requirements according to V.A.

The benefit is available to the children and surviving spouses of service members who die in the line of duty after Sept. 10, 2001. Beneficiaries attending school may receive up to their full tuition and fees for a public school or a statutory annual maximum amount for a private school, plus a monthly living stipend and book allowance under this program.


  • A child’s marital status has no effect on eligibility.
  • A child may begin an approved program of education before the age of 18.
  • Eligibility ends on the child’s 33rd birthday.


  • A surviving spouse can receive benefits for terms beginning on or after January 1, 2015.
  • A surviving spouse’s eligibility generally ends 15 years after the Service member’s death.
  • A spouse will lose eligibility to this benefit upon remarriage if this occurs during the 15 year period.

Final Thoughts

Really, what more can I say? Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry said it all by his heroic actions.

If you are wondering if you or your children are eligible, I suggest you visit their website to complete an application.

Please give comments and questions below.

Thank you… Now I must go dry my eyes.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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