Tanner Johnson

DAV (Disabled American Veterans) has named Tanner Johnson of Cheyenne, Wyoming, as the recipient of the 2020 Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship’s top prize of $20,000. Johnson will be recognized during the DAV & Auxiliary Virtual Salute program scheduled for Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. Eastern time at dav.org/virtualsalute.

The DAV scholarship program honors eight outstanding young men and women each year for their volunteer support of veterans in the name of the charity through the Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service Program (VAVS) and/or through DAV’s Local Veterans Assistance Program (LVAP).

“To me, volunteering is about helping and serving those who served our country,” said Johnson. “My father served 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, and it was important for me to give back.”

Johnson, a high school senior, has logged more than 1,400 hours as a DAV volunteer at the Cheyenne VA Medical Center, serving in several units including nursing, recreational therapy, environmental management and the hospital’s Community Living Center. He graduated this spring from Central High School and plans to study kinesiology at the University of Wyoming and pursue a physical therapy career.

“This year’s scholarship recipients recognize that their noble service to our veterans is one important way of repaying those who have shouldered the burden of defending our nation,” said DAV National Commander Stephen “Butch” Whitehead. “With volunteerism on the decline nationwide, I am heartened to see such future leaders like Tanner and all of our fantastic awardees, give their most precious resource—their time—to the honorable pursuit of caring for the men and women who served.”

Named after Marine veteran Jesse Brown, a former VA secretary and DAV leader who was wounded in Vietnam in 1965, the scholarship award is backed by Ford Motor Co.

Additional scholarship recipients include:

  • Daniel Finney—Columbia, South Carolina, $15,000
  • Will Johniken—Woodway, Texas, $10,000
  • Brooke Jackowski—Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania, $7,500
  • Myriah Calder—Farmington, New Mexico, $7,500
  • Luke Lilly—Beaver, West Virginia, $5,000
  • Bhavika Sethi—Watervliet, New York $5,000
  • Jean You—Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, $5,000


About DAV
DAV empowers veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. It is dedicated to a single purpose: fulfilling our promises to the men and women who served. DAV does this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them, fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill, providing employment resources to veterans and their families, and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life. DAV, a nonprofit organization with more than 1 million members, was founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932. Learn more at www.dav.org.