Honoree

Raymond C. Kelley

AWARDS

IU East Alumni Hall of Fame (2010)
B.S., 2004

BIOGRAPHY

Raymond Kelley is the Director of the National Legislative Service, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). Kelley, formerly of Hagerstown, Ind., received a Bachelor of Science degree in Behavioral Sciences with a concentration in Political Science from IU East in 2004. He has done post-graduate work in political science at Ball State University.

Before becoming a student at IU East, Kelley was a military police officer in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1989 to 1995. He enlisted as soon as he graduated from Hagerstown High School. He then owned a farrier business in east central Indiana, Ray Kelley Horseshoeing. He returned to the U.S. Army Reserve as a psychological operations team leader where he conducted over 250 combat missions independently and in conjunction with indigenous forces and Special Forces in North Babel Province of Iraq.

In 1995, the first time Kelley enrolled in classes at IU East, he left after one semester. He said after serving in the Marine Corps for six years, transitioning to college life did not go very well. The support of his wife, Rebecca, and a conversation with Paul Kriese, associate professor of political science, led him to return nearly seven years later.

Kelley was the national legislative director for AMVETS in Lanham, Md., the fourth largest Veterans Service Organization. He directed the organization's policies concerning the Department of Veteran Affairs, Department of Defense and education and labor issues facing military service members, veterans and their families.

Kelley also co-owns and is vice president of Supportive Education for the Returning Veteran (SERV Corp). The program offers veterans attending college help with transitioning from military life to a student life, especially for veterans returning from a combat zone. The program, which also offers veteran-only introductory courses, is now on four college campuses with plans for expansion.