GRAFTON—The Grafton High School Class of 1994 has announced an opportunity for current GHS seniors, that will help the legacy of a former Bearcat carry on.
The memory of a local hero will live on inside the hallways of Grafton High School, thanks to the love and dedication of those closest to him.
In remembrance of Command Sergeant Major Timothy Bolyard, the GHS Class of 1994, along with Tim’s family, has established the Hometown Hero Scholarship.
The first time this scholarship fund will be issued will be to a member of the GHS Class of 2020.
“This is just something we wanted to do to help honor Tim,” said Steve Louzy, friend and classmate. “We threw it together quickly, but what started as a simple idea has grown quickly.”
Louzy revealed that it was his fellow classmates and the family of Bolyard who worked to secure funds for the scholarship, and it is their hope that it will be awarded annually to an outstanding Bearcat.
Command Sergeant Major (CSM) Timothy “Caveman” Bolyard was a member of the Grafton High School Class of 1994, and during his time as a Bearcat, he excelled both academically and in the sports arena. He was a four-year member of both the football and wrestling teams.
While his classmates were deciding which route to take in life, Bolyard made the decision to enlist in the United States Army. After graduation, he began what would become a lifelong career of serving and protecting others.
During his nearly 25-year career, Bolyard earned numerous commendations, becoming a highly decorated serviceman. Among his overwhelming list of achievements and honors were six bronze stars, the nation’s fourth highest military decoration.
Two of those bronze stars were awarded for Bolyard’s valor, denoting his heroism in combat.
He was also awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (3 OLC), Army Commendation Medal (5 OLCs), Army Achievement Medal (8 OLCs), Good Conduct Medal (7th award), National Defense Service Medal (with star device), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Kosovo Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon (with 4 device), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Medal, United Nations Medal, NATO Medal (with star device), the Combat Action Badge, Drivers Badge Wheel and The Order of Saint George Bronze Award.
Louzy said of his friend, “I learned that when soldiers working under him would get their orders and see Tim’s name across the top, it filled them with a sense of comfort, because they knew they were in good hands.”
His comrades revealed that CSM Bolyard was a favored leader of those who served both alongside and under his command.
Sadly, Bolyard was killed on September 3, 2018 in an insider attack in Afghanistan, while on his seventh deployment. He was assigned to 3rd Squadron, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, Fort Benning, Georgia.
“Our fallen brother, U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major Timothy D. Bolyard has given the last 24 years of his life to protect and serve our country,” Louzy expressed. “It is our mission to show what that man’s sacrifices means to our community, and one way we can do that is through this scholarship fund.”
So, in honor of their classmate, the Class of ‘94 is offering all graduating seniors the opportunity to apply for the Hometown Hero Scholarship.
Those wishing to vie for a chance to receive the scholarship will need to submit a two-page essay entitled, “What Heroes Mean to Me.”
“Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, so it does not have to be military related,” Louzy noted.
In their essay, students are asked to include any high school accomplishments, extra curriculars they have been involved in through the school, any honors they have received, their current Grade Point Average, their future plans, how they plan to further their education and what ideas they have to start a chosen career path or any plans to do so.
Contact information must be included at the top of the first page of the composition.
The essays will need to be completed and submitted through the mail to GHS Class of 1994, 33 Milva Lane, Grafton, WV 26354, no later than June 1. Essays may also be emailed to [email protected]
After submissions are received, all names will be removed and each composition will receive a number prior to judging, to help keep things fair and unbiased.
Members of the Class of ‘94 will review and rate each essay. The highest-ranking essay will then be matched to the recipient’s name and the winner will be contacted. A date will be selected to for Bolyard’s family and classmates to present the winner with their scholarship.
“We hope that you all will take advantage of this opportunity in the memory and honor of our friend and fellow Bearcat,” Louzy said. “Tim was truly a hero. The Class of 1994 cannot wait to hear your thoughts on what makes someone a hero to you. Good luck!”