Through The Modelo Fighting Chance Project
Like all veterans, Vista’s Andrew Barnard has an inherent fighting spirit.
Orphaned at the age of 14, Barnard and his five siblings were raised by his grandmother. He enlisted immediately after high school. After several years of service, he returned home, earning a bachelor’s degree in biology to kickstart his civilian career.
However, despite the GI bill, a part-time job and extreme budgeting, Andrew was forced to take out loans to offset the cost of tuition.
He isn’t the only one.
For too many veterans, the fight isn’t over when they return home. They face high rates of underemployment, job turnover, and increasingly, serious student loan debt. Educational debt in the U.S. for active duty military amounts to nearly $3 billion1, and 46% of veterans default on their student loans – significantly higher than the default rate of non-veteran students2.
But thanks to Modelo and nonprofit Leave No Veteran Behind, Andrew and four other veterans are now 100% education debt-free. The two organizations are joining forces to provide scholarships and transitional job opportunities to veterans, giving them a fresh financial start so they can continue to serve in their communities. It’s all part of the Modelo Fighting Chance Project – a cause-marketing initiative to empower those that embody Modelo’s Fighting Spirit, yet need support to achieve their full potential.
“For years, we’ve celebrated veterans service. Now, we’re giving them a fighting chance to achieve financial independence – empowering them to both build a better life as civilians and enhance their local communities,” said Greg Gallagher, Vice President of Brand Marketing for Modelo.
Leave No Veteran Behind provides educational, employment and community service opportunities for veterans facing economic hardship. To receive assistance, veterans pay it forward through 100-400 hours of community service.
Andrew has committed to a mission trip to South America to build housing for families in need of safer living conditions. Based on his own experiences, he never wants a child not to have a place to call home.
[Woodrow Roeback III, Eli Williamson (Leave No Veteran Behind), John Ford (Constellation Brands), Andrew Barnard]
Andrew and another veteran scholarship recipient, Woodrow Roeback III of Los Angeles, were recently honored at an LA Galaxy match during a special halftime presentation, thanking them for their service and volunteerism.
If you are interested in learning more about this important cause, visit
for more information and to donate directly.
1 National Military Family Association, 2019
2 Center for American Progress, 2018