2016 Scholarship Recipient

Sgt. David Denhardt, Madison Schultz, Jennifer Denhardt

Name: Sergeant David R. Denhardt
Branch: U.S. Marine Corps, Brigade Company, HQSBN Camp Lejeune, NC (1991-1995), Michigan Army National Guard, A Co., 1/125 Infantry (2011-2012), D Co. 237th FSB, Deployed (2012-2012), C Co., WTU, Fort Knox, KY, Medevaced (2012-2014)
Medically Retired: 2014

Dave & hockey team (2)

Dave’s hockey team at the 2015 Detroit Veterans Day Parade, with Senator Debbie Stabenow

Sergeant Denhardt joined the U.S. Marine Corps in the fall of 1991 and finished his tour in 1995. He met the love of his life, Jennifer, in 2008 and they married in 2010. Jennifer's daughter, Madison, was only two months old when they first met.

Sgt. Denhardt's world revolved around both of them and he wanted to provide them with the best future. Since he was passionate about serving our country, he joined the Michigan National Guard in 2011.

Sgt. Denhardt's company was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012. One month into his tour, he was moved to Bagram, a hotspot for attacks. Eleven days later, two rockets hit their camp, and Sgt. Denhardt was thrown into a shipping container from one of the blasts.

Thereafter, Fort Knox, Kentucky became his home for 20 months, where he was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, bulging discs in his neck, PTSD, nerve issues on his left side, and nerve damage to both middle ears.

In 2014, Sgt. Denhardt was medically discharged from the Michigan National Guard. He is rated 100% disabled by the V.A.

Madison Schultz, the daughter of Sgt. David and Jennifer Denhardt, is the Corporal Christopher Kelly Willis Foundation’s 2016 Scholarship Recipient.

Madison dressed for Halloween in her camo

David's homecoming in April 2014, with Madison and "Tank", at St. Claire Shores Memorial Day Parade where Dave was Veteran of Honor and rode on the front float in the parade


Through the generosity of our corporate and individual donors, Madison is awarded a scholarship that is intended to cover the entire unmet need of her college tuition and expenses after high school graduation. She is eight years old and loves gymnastics and the Girl Scouts.

She and her dad love playing games, camping, and fishing together. Madison is very loving and caring despite the many struggles, is always happy and smiling, and has already become a very strong little girl.

Madison wants to join the military after she graduates from high school, and she has learned from her dad to never give up.