Lucas W

U.S. Marine Corps – Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management

Lucas Waldron served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2007 to 2011 as a rifleman and squad leader in the infantry, and attained the rank of Sergeant. Despite knowing how tough it would be, he felt compelled to join out of a sense of duty to his country and his personal goal of being the best person he can be.

While in the Marine Corps, Lucas was stationed at Camp Pendleton and served with the Third Battalion First Marine Regiment. After his first deployment, he went to the Infantry Squad Leaders Course at the School of Infantry where he trained his Marines. He then deployed with his unit to the Helmond Province of Afghanistan for seven months where his squad served in both security and humanitarian roles alongside Afghan national forces. Lucas was able to bring every member of his squad home safely due to the positive relationship, trust, and understanding with the local people.

In 2011, Lucas was discharged and returned home to Chicago where he found he was unqualified for most jobs in everyday life. Despite finishing a History/Finance degree in the summer, he felt that his life lacked a sense of purpose that it had when he was in the Marines.After visiting Arizona and learning about the large number of homeless veterans and the efforts to get them VA benefits, he began thinking of ways to help Chicago vets in similar situations.

Shortly after, Lucas was awarded a fellowship to serve as a veterans outreach specialist with Inspiration Corporation. Through training programs and internships at restaurants throughout the city, Inspiration Corporation seeks to give disadvantaged vets the opportunity to get job training and experience in the work field. Following his fellowship, Lucas was hired as the Director of Residential Programming at Volunteers of America where he oversaw two innovating housing programs targeted at reducing veteran homelessness. He is also the founding member and lead of The Mission Continues’ 2nd Service Platoon in Chicago, which is made up of veterans serving their own communities as they once did in the military. Lucas is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.