By Allen Brewer
On January 20, CNN anchor and Phi Beta Kappa member Jake Tapper will host the 2018 Veterans Awards. This year’s “Vettys” will be the third annual award ceremony and will partner with Paralyzed Veterans of America to help veterans with spinal cord injuries and dysfunctions.
Tapper graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Dartmouth College in 1991. He began his career as a writer for the Washington City Paper, but he has since been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and the Weekly Standard. He also drawn political cartoons for The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times.
Prior to working for CNN, Tapper served with ABC News as a senior white house correspondent. He was regularly featured on Good Morning America, Nightline, and World News Tight with Diane Sawyer, and appeared as a substitute host on This Week.
He is currently the host of CNN’s The Lead, which aires on the weekdays for one hour. The show examines and advances headline stories about politics, sports, and popular culture from across the globe. He also hosts the State of the Union, which aires on Sundays at noon. This news hour features interviews with top political newsmakers from Washington and abroad.
Tapper is also the author of three books. His latest book, The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor (Bay Back Books, 2013), is about one of the deadliest battles in Afghanistan for US troops. In 2009 at combat outpost Keating, 53 American soldiers fought off 400 Taliban fighters with more casualties than the other battles of that year.
Tapper was awarded the 2014 “Tex” McCrary Award for Excellence in Journalism for his work reporting on veterans and troops. He regularly highlights stories of soldiers re-integrating into civilian life and their contributions to the country. His broadcast of the Commander-in-Chief town hall has been nominated for an Emmy.
The Vettys will be hosted this year at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. Six different award categories honor individuals and organizations for their relentless dedication to the veteran community and its families. Categories include veterans education, veterans mental health, veterans employment, veterans community, veterans leadership, and the “Veterans Choice” award.
Honorees will be presented with a statuette of a military boot that represents the boots-on-the-ground efforts of the veterans service organizations and the organization and individuals that form a strong foundation of support.
Last year's winners include Dog Tag Inc. for the veterans employment award. This organization provides opportunities for veterans with disabilities to get an education at Georgetown University and work experience in their small business venture, Dog Tag Bakery.
Other celebrities who will be on the host committee include Michael Douglas, Tony Goldwyn, Adam Driver, Melissa Fitzgerald, Scott Foley, Joshua Malina, Bellamy Young, and Kate Walsh.
Voting for the award nominees opened on November 20 and will close on December 1. Winners will be announced on December 10 on the Vettys’ website.
Allen Brewer is a junior at the University of Mississippi majoring in journalism. The University of Mississippi is home to the Beta of Mississippi Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.