Old Dominion University – MPA candidate
Michael Thompson was born and raised in Granite Bay, California. He is the youngest of three children to loving parents, Ron and Vicki Thompson. He was a successful varsity athlete and became an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America before graduating from Granite Bay High School in 2002. Michael went to the University of California at Davis on a track and field scholarship before transferring to Arizona State University, the alma mater of a hero of his, Pat Tillman. At ASU, Michael played on the varsity football team while studying Political Science and International Relations. Michael graduated from Arizona State in 2006, but was unfulfilled by the career prospects that followed. With a strong patriotic spirit and urge to serve his country, Michael decided to follow in his grandfathers’ footsteps and enlist in the Navy.
Michael relishes his decision to forgo a commission due to the experience he shared with fellow members of Riverine Squadron One, a river warfare combat unit. After a deployment to Iraq and sustaining serious injuries during small boat operations, Michael was eventually honorably discharged. Ironically, however, it was during his medical review board process that he realized his true passion—to serve disabled veterans transitioning back into civilian life.
At this time, Michael is finishing his Master of Public Administration degree at Old Dominion University, and acting as the Graduate Assistant for Veterans and Distance Learners with Disabilities in the Office of Educational Accessibility there. He will continue on at ODU to complete his Master of Business Administration degree beginning in January 2015. Michael plans to use his degrees to follow his dream of supporting disabled veterans, starting with the establishment and servitude of his brainchild, Student Veteran House Inc.
When he isn’t serving his community through volunteering at farm markets or mentoring young athletes, Michael can be found on his paddleboard or beach cruiser in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he lives with his fiancée.