NAU’s new generation of veterans

Marc McCrorie

   By Mark McCrorie, strategic communication major 

Veterans Day is important to me. It’s a day for honoring the strife undertaken by those possessed with a sense of duty. It is a day where the country acknowledges the crucibles faced by those we send to war.

That is what I hope comes to mind for others this Veterans Day. It’s more than a day off. It is more than a day for sales and promotions. It’s about celebrating those who keep our country strong.

To me, and I think to most of my peers, the term veteran conjures an image of an older Vietnam-era gentleman. You know who I mean: the bearded guys in leather vests festooned with insignias, patches, sporting ball caps with Vietnam campaign ribbons and unit pins. That seems like the standard image of a veteran in the eye of the public. Those men might have been drafted where I volunteered and they probably served more tours than I did. I feel like those venerable individuals are the ones deserving of our admiration and gratitude.

I don’t look like that standard image of an old veteran, but walking around campus sometimes makes me feel that way. Even the word veteran stems from vetus, meaning old.

As a veteran in college, it’s easy to feel aged and isolated by experience. Often times, it can be frustrating listening to the problems of peers and how insignificant they seem compared to the trials faced in combat.

Remember the new generation of veterans who sit in your classrooms. We might not look like it, but we have endured much in the name of freedom. We chose that life because we know something that we wish to share with you on November 11.

We want you to know that while we appreciate the adoration and free meals offered by restaurants, Veterans Day means much more. It is about communicating a lingering ideal borne from our experience, the idea that this country and the people that make it great are worth fighting for.

That’s why we did it, and that is why we would do it again.