“Overcoming Adversity” is the topic of a lecture and program this Wednesday, February 26 at the University of West Florida Conference Center. The featured speaker is Philip Brashear, son of the late Master Chief and Master Diver Carl Brashear who was the first African-American and amputee to become a U.S. Navy diver.
Peter Goldsberry is a Navy veteran and president of the UWF chapter of Student Veterans of America, which is presenting the program. Goldsberry says the chosen theme of ‘overcoming adversity’ was a perfect fit for the program, “based on the fact that one of my own student veterans Timothy Jones has dealt with and overcome his own adversity, going from being a sailor himself to being a homeless person in the civilian world and now has gotten back on track and is currently here at UWF going after his bachelor’s degree.”
Jones was instrumental in organizing the event, which is the first significant program for the UWF SVA. It was Jones who made contact with Philip Brashear, president of the Carl Brashear Foundation, who will discuss his father Carl’s struggles to become a Navy diver. His story is chronicled in the 2000 film “Men of Honor,” starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Robert DeNiro.
Philip Brashear will speak about the efforts of the Carl Brashear Foundation, which is currently working to get Navy museums to highlight the Brashear story. In conjunction with the museum displays, contributions will be made in his name to various Veteran Administration Hospitals throughout the country as well as other charitable groups directed towards children and young adults.
Also set to speak during the program is Mark Churchwell, director of the UWF Military and Veterans Resource Center (MVRC); Susan Dawson, clinical coordinator for Volunteers of America; and Matthew Feger, a vice president of the national Student Veterans of America organization.
The event, “Overcoming Adversity,” is this Wednesday evening at 7 in the UWF Conference Center.