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McKeown is driving the ball and doing the best he can

  • Charles County
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Local CSM Student, Reservist and Spike TV Joe is First Recipient Of CSM’s Veterans and Law Enforcement Scholarship Jay McKeown, the recipient of the College of Southern Maryland Foundation’s Veterans and Law Enforcement Golf Tournament’s first scholarship, is not your average scholarship winner.

The 28-year-old served for five years in the U.S. Army before returning home to La Plata where he now attends classes in criminal justice at CSM, serves as a member of the Army Reserve’s 11th PSYOP Division in Upper Marlboro and pursues his love for art, history and traveling to museums. If all that were not enough, McKeown is also the winner of the second season of the hit Spike TV show “Pros vs. Joes.”

But don’t try to classify McKeown by his accomplishments, “I’m just a guy doing the best that I can. I get up early and get things done so that I can go out and have fun,” said McKeown.

Getting to today’s successes has been a challenge at times. After graduating from McDonough High School, he was on his way to Lackawanna College in Scranton, Penn. on an athletic scholarship when a drunk driver collided with McKeown and three of his teammates a week before the season began. Unable to get mentally back into the game, following intensive physical therapy, McKeown opted to join the Army - a decision that he describes as changing his life.

“Military life made me look at the world and myself differently. Before I was just an athlete but now I am an athlete with direction and focus. I used to think I would become a teacher because I felt like there were a lot of kids like me who get pigeon-holed into the idea that they are athletes, and if you’re an athlete you can’t be an academic. I wanted to change that, but the military taught me you can be athletic and intellectual at the same time. So I decided what I really wanted to do was work for the FBI in counter-terrorism. I have always hated the idea that some people classify you based on arbitrary factors like whether you play sports or where you live,” said McKeown, who added that his time in Iraq has changed how he sees people and conflict resolution.

“When I was in Iraq, I worked a great deal wi

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