Veterans are those who have served in our armed forces, but have now taken off the uniform. Veterans can be found in all facets of study and work on Michigan Tech’s campus and in our community.
In the latest U.S. Census, it was determined that 7% of the U.S. population, or 18 million citizens, have served in our armed forces. The number of veterans and the average age of veterans have decreased significantly, as those from the “Greatest Generation” from WWII have started to leave us with only memories. Today, the composition of our veterans has an average age of 37 and represents all demographics of our American society.
To serve in the U.S. armed forces is a commitment, an oath and affirmation to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. Following the draft during the Vietnam War, the United States moved to a volunteer military system, which is a military service system that maintains the military only with applicants and without compulsory conscription.
As an Army officer less than 45 days from my own retirement, it is a great honor to see the patriotism of the Army and Air Force cadets on campus, those serving in the National Guard and Reserves locally, and those that have aspirations to serve after their time at Tech. Each has their own reasons to serve, but it is inspiring to see the next generation take that oath to support and defend.
Veterans Day is a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. Today, if you know a veteran in our community, please take a moment to say thank you.
Chair, Army Reserve Officer Training Corps
Professor of Military Science