The Civilian and Military Divide: How this Veterans Day can be Different!
“We don't know the American people and the American people don't know us." -Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen
The above quote was given at Admiral Mullen’s retirement speech, and I think this Veterans Day can be an opportunity to close this gap between our veteran and military connected students; and those who have no connection to the military. At Eastern Washington University we have continued to educate our campus community during the month of November around the importance of Veterans Day. For example, the JFK Library hosts the Veterans Day display for the first two weeks and a similar display is in the Library again this year. With over 500+ veterans and military connected students on campus; and numerous faculty and staff who have served, EWU has a strong and supportive relationship with our veteran and military community. This year will be no different with more Veterans Day information on display and our Military and Veterans Appreciation Football game on November 19th.
Your student may have a strong connection to and understanding of Veterans Day because you or someone in your immediate family has served or continues to serve today. Or you and your family may not have any connection to the military or veteran community. Here is a quick history of Veterans Day ( Veterans Day History ) which is a day of “celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.”
Currently less than 10% of the US population are veterans; so it is critical that we keep alive the stories and history of our veterans. If you are a veteran, share your story with your family, self-identify in the workplace or community, and invite a friend to a Veterans Day event. If you have never served, find a veteran and just listen, attend a Veterans Day event, or read a book like “For Love of Country: What our Veterans can teach us about Citizenship, Heroism and Sacrifice”.
Eastern Washington University is an incredible place for our veteran and military community to learn and grow as we just celebrated the 10th year anniversary of the opening of our Veterans Resource Center. I know with support from parents we will continue to grow and support all those whose lives are interconnected to our veteran and military community. “Eagle Strong”!
Director, EWU Veterans Resource Center
(David Millet is a 25 year U.S. Army veteran who retired in 2009 and has been the Director of the VRC since 2012).