Feb. 8, 2011
For Immediate Release
Campbellsville University recognizes Marine Master Sgt. and heroic student
By Shelby Lynn Cash, student news writer
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — Dr. E. Bruce Heilman, a graduate of Campbellsville University and vice chair of the advancement committee of the CU Board of Trustees, presented United States Marine Master Sgt. Joe Singh Rodriguez recognition for guiding Alexander Violet to become a student at Campbellsville University.
The presentation was made at the Jan. 25 CU Board of Trustees’ meeting in Winters Dining Hall of the E. Bruce Heilman Student Complex.
Rodriguez is a board member at the Marine Military Academy and because of his and Heilman’s friendship, he recommended that Alexander Violet, a Navy veteran, attend Campbellsville University.
Violet, as a CU student in fall 2008 and spring 2009, made a name for himself by rescuing victims of a wreck from a burning automobile. His actions were highly noted and his contribution while a student was outstanding and noteworthy.
In December 2008, at the Taylor County Fire Department’s annual awards dinner, Violet was honored and awarded the Above and Beyond Award. Violet was the first to arrive on the scene of the accident, and his training as an Active Navy Corpsman gave him the ability to help the situation. Officially, Violet is a HM-NEC 8404, highly trained in operational and emergency medicine and trauma management.
At the board of trustees meeting, Rodriguez was presented with a framed copy of Campbellsville University’s Campbellsvillian article, which told the story of Violet’s heroic act and how he came to be a CU student through the recommendation of Rodriguez.
“We are grateful to Mr. Rodriguez for his service to our nation in the United States Marine Corps,” Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, said.
“In the tradition of Dr. Heilman and others who have served in the Marines, Mr. Rodriguez is to be thanked for all that he has done in serving our country and humanity. He saw something very special in Alexander Violet, and the family that was rescued by Alexander from the burning vehicle, would probably consider it of God that he came to Campbellsville University as a student.”
Heilman said Rodriguez came to know of Campbellsville University, “While Joe and I were attending the Army/Navy games in Philadelphia with our own fellow Marines from the academy, he broached the subject of his interest in establishing an educational foundation and through that a memorial to his father and mother. [They were] modest people of little financial means who left a strong influence and legacy which he wishes to recognize. He indicated that he would like to do this at the University of Richmond [where he is chancellor and former president] or at some other place I might suggest. So I invited Joe to come here [to Campbellsville University] to see what we have to offer as an opportunity for such a meaningful recognition.”
Rodriguez joined the Marines right after high school, at age 18. After boot camp he was assigned to infantry training where he was to provide security for Vietnamese refugees. Rodriguez was then assigned to the only active Force Reconnaissance Company in the Marine Corps. Rodriguez graduated the Army Airborne, Navy Dive and the Military Free Fall Courses as part of his initial reconnaissance training. Later, as a Platoon Sergeant, he was assigned to nuclear security activities. He then lead and was cited for a project for protecting American citizens abroad from terrorists.
Following numerous such experiences, he became intimately familiar with many aspects of security operations and in 1987 he left Active Duty to pursue the establishment of a private consulting security business. By 2005 his business had grown to over $50,000,000 annually consisting of over 1,000 employees in 15 states, the company has since grown to over 2,000 employees.
Since initially departing Active Duty, he has still been recalled to active duty on six different occasions to lead troops abroad. In his second Iraq tour, Rodriguez established the Iraqi Highway patrol academy. He graduated the first class and led them on their first patrol throughout Iraq’s, Western Anbar Province, where he was awarded the Bronze Star.
Heilman brought Rodriguez to Campbellsville University to witness the progress that is being made at CU. After seeing CU’s campus, Rodriguez made a donation to the university’s President’s Club.
“We are honored to have Mr. Rodriguez on the campus of Campbellsville University, appreciate his kind words and support and look forward to future discussions with him,” Carter said.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with over 3,000 students offering 63 undergraduate programs, 17 master’s degrees and five postgraduate areas. The website for complete information is Campbellsville.edu.