Morgan City native, Army officer honors father
Army 2nd Lt. Kristen M. Daisy established a scholarship that honors her father and will benefit a cadet in Northwestern State University’s ROTC program.
The Malcolm Daisy ROTC Scholarship will be awarded every semester in the amount of $500 to a cadet selected by faculty in NSU’s Department of Military Science. Daisy, a native of Morgan City, graduated from Northwestern State in December 2012, and is an alumna of the Army ROTC Demon Battalion.
Daisy stipulates that the ROTC Scholarship will be awarded to a hard-working, loyal, and dedicated cadet as a reward for perseverance against adversity and drive to serve one’s country in the United States Army as an officer.
“This scholarship is designed to help those in need who are trying to serve our blessed country and do not have the financial means to do so or are scraping by just to stay in college. It is a reminder that good things come to those who work hard and persevere though all obstacles in life,” she said.
Daisy named the scholarship to honor her father, the rock of her family who “is the definition of perseverance and strength.” Malcolm Daisy grew up on a houseboat with parents who never finished high school. As a youngster, he overcame personal hardship to graduate from high school, but because of financial constraints, only attended one semester of college. He and Daisy’s mother, Rebecca, worked so that Daisy and her sister got a good education to keep from falling into the hardships they endured as children.
“My family could not afford to send me or my sister to college so I decided to apply for the Army ROTC my senior year in high school. I received the scholarship and attended NSU,” Daisy said. Upon graduation, she was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and is now stationed at Rhine Ordnance Barracks, Germany, as an Ordnance officer for Service Company, 5th Battalion, 7th Air Defense Artillery, under 10th Air and Missile Defense Command.
During Daisy’s freshman year at NSU, her father was diagnosed with pharyngeal cancer.
“We didn’t know how we would handle it. I could fight any battle. I could conquer any obstacle. I could overcome any enemy. But to battle what you cannot see, terrified me. He spent months in radiation and chemotherapy. I spent months wondering how he could remain positive and strong by fighting something he couldn’t see. There were months of scraping together money to pay for treatments. Sometimes I donated my refund check, other times I needed it to survive on my own. There were days where bills went unpaid and months of waiting, hoping and praying went by until March 2009, when he was diagnosed cancer free.”
Daisy said her father inspired her to finish college and establish the scholarship. Candidates for the Malcolm Daisy ROTC Scholarship must have a grade point average of 2.8 or higher, must score 180 or better with at least 60 percent in each event on the Army Physical Fitness Test and must be part of the NSU ROTC program. The students selected must also exhibit the Army values of loyalty, duty, honor, respect, selfless service, integrity, and personal courage. Applicants must also be engaged in volunteer activities and demonstrate a financial need.
“My father believes that education is the most important thing to be successful. I believe that too,” Daisy said. “I hope this scholarship becomes a beacon of hope and a motivation for those who need to be reminded that hard work, dedication, and perseverance will almost always pay off. And for those that make it to the graduation stage, I challenge you to help those who are coming behind you. Anyone can make a difference. You just have to decide to do it.”
For more information on Northwestern State’s ROTC program, go to goarmy.com/rotc/schools/northwestern-state-university-of-louisiana or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The Demon Regiment is currently updating its database. ROTC alumni who would like to update their contact information can do so at eepurl.com/FqYa5.