GRAFTON—Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and to help honor one of Taylor County’s own heroes, the Class of 1994 created a special scholarship fund and recently announced this year’s recipient.
After the loss of their beloved classmate, Command Sergeant Major Timothy (Tim) Boylard, the Grafton High School Class of 1994, along with Tim’s family, established the Hometown Hero Scholarship, honoring his memory as a man who helped anyone he could.
On Thursday, Bolyard’s family and some of his classmates gathered in front of the high school to announce this year’s Hometown Hero Scholarship winner.
“We are here today to commemorate, honor and remember our fallen classmate, CSM Timothy Bolyard,” said Bolyard’s classmate and friend, Steve Louzy. “In his four-year career at GHS, he was part of the football and wrestling teams, involved in many projects and was always a helpful hand.”
He recounted that shortly after graduation, Bolyard, commonly referred to as Caveman, enlisted and left for the United States Army, beginning his lifelong career of serving and protecting others.
“During his nearly 25-year career, he earned numerous commendations, and became one of the most highly decorated servicemembers to come out of Grafton, WV,” Louzy shared. “Among his overwhelming list of achievements and honors were six bronze stars, two with valor and that is the nation’s fourth highest military decoration.”
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.
In addition, while serving in the Army, he completed many courses to make himself not only a better person, but a better leader.
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.”
He shared that his friend was not one to boast about his achievements, revealing that Bolyard’s own parents were unaware of many of their son’s accomplishments.
To help commemorate not only his successes within the Army but the character he displayed, the Bolyard family and the Class of ‘94 began to collect money from t-shirt sales and donations from the community, to create the Hometown Hero Scholarship.
When it came time to choose the lucky recipient of the funds, it was decided that an essay contest would be utilized.
“Our first ever recipient of the Hometown Hero Scholarship shared stories of what a hero meant to him,” disclosed Louzy. “We are proud to announce that this scholarship commemorating Tim will go to Fletcher Newell.”
In Newell’s essay, he first equated heroes to those who flew around with indestructible powers and a cape, protecting earth and its people, including the Avengers and Superman.
“It was when someone called my father a hero that I became confused. He didn’t seem to fly, and he never wore a cape,” said Newell in his essay. “As I would soon learn, real heroes didn’t wear capes. This specific one wore dog tags.”
He went on to explain that his father had enlisted with the Marine Corps, and he would spend the next several years being deployed across the globe.
“My father didn’t become a hero by becoming invincible, he became a hero by putting his life at risk every day. He didn’t become a hero by using powers to save a cat from a tree, he became a hero by protecting his family and country from threats across the world,” Newell noted.
He said that it is the character of his father that help guide him in his studies and on his future career path.
“He instilled in our winner that it is possible for him to make a difference in this world,” said Louzy. “He was chosen, as a GHS student, by NASA to develop a database that would allow them to better identify risks in upcoming missions and he has kept a 4.417 GPA on his way to becoming the Valedictorian of the Class of 2020.”
Newell shared that he will continue his education at Stanford University and then into doctorate school, and he hopes to one day return to NASA, this time as a full-time physicist.
“We hope his plans fall into place and that he may help and lead many others, as CSM Timothy Bolyard did,” Louzy voiced.
Newell said that he was honored to be selected as the first-ever recipient of the Hometown Hero Scholarship.