TSgt Orlando Zepeda Sanchez
November 10, 2021

LACEY, Wash. – Technical Sergeant Orlando Zepeda Sanchez, a member of the U.S. Air Force for over sixteen years, has been chosen by Saint Martin’s University as its 13th recipient of America’s Service Heroes Scholarship. The award was announced on Nov. 6 at Saint Martin’s Gala 2021, a major fundraising event for University student scholarships.

 “Saint Martin's University has a long tradition of honoring those who serve in our military and the need to support their educational goals,” says Chantelle Marker, associate dean of military and graduate programs at Saint Martin’s University. “The  America's Service Heroes Scholarship provides funding not otherwise available to our men and women in uniform to access education and give back to those who give so much.” The America’s Service Heroes Scholarship was created in partnership with America’s Credit Union to provide financial assistance to service members and their families. 

TSgt Zepeda Sanchez has been nominated for this year’s American Service Hero Scholarship because of his perseverance in fulfilling his goal to obtain a bachelor of arts in psychology degree. Orlando first attended Saint Martin’s University in the fall of 2013, but deployments kept him busy until the spring of 2017. Since that time, he has been diligently working on his degree requirements while maintaining a respectable grade point average.

“Orlando made a lasting impression upon me in his first class with me at JBLM. He was diligent, well prepared, and absorbed new material quickly,” said Dr. Patricia Lott, a psychology professor at Saint Martin’s University – Joint Base Lewis-McChord Campuses. “His passion for this discipline is one that manifested then and now in this current class that he is taking with me, in professionalism, leadership, passion, and dedication,” says Lott.  “I have the utmost confidence in his abilities.”

TSgt Zepeda Sanchez is from Auburn, WA. He is currently assigned to the Office of the Vice President as the NCOIC of Vice President Transportation section at the White House in Washington DC. He joined the Air Force in June 2006, serving as a vehicle operations technician, 90th Logistics Readiness Squadron, at Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming. In January 2010, Zepeda Sanchez was relocated to the 627th Logistics Readiness Squadron at Joint Base Lewis McChord, serving in vehicle operations as the training validation supervisor.

He has been awarded Air Force Commendation Medals, Air Force Achievement Medals, Army Achievement Medals, a Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Air Force Meritorious Unit Awards, and an Armed Forces Service Medal.

His short-term goals are to complete his bachelor’s degree in psychology and continue his master’s degree with Saint Martin’s. His long-term goals are to continue his military service as a military psychologist.

TSgt Zepeda Sanchez has three children: Jason Zepeda, Maya Zepeda, and Maraya Zepeda. He graduated from West Auburn High School in 2005 and attended the Community College of the Air Force, from 2006 to 2015, completing his associate degree in applied science.

He is a psychology major at Saint Martin’s University and possesses a 3.39 grade point average.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 13 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 29 majors, 11 graduate programs, and five certificate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing, and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and more students to its extended campus located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

For additional information:

Chantelle Marker

Associate Dean of Military and Graduate Programs

360-412-6128; cmarker@stmartin.edu


Jocelyn Bonilla

Marketing and Social Media Manager

360-412-6126; jbonilla@stmartin.edu