Veterans Day: Take the time to thank our courageous military veterans

NW Staff

For some, this Friday, Nov. 11 will pass like any other Friday. But for those brave Americans who have served in a branch of the armed forces, Veterans Day will serve as a reminder of the terrible risk our nation’s finest took when they put on the camouflaged uniform.

Many students will pay respect this weekend to their parents and grandparents who served in the military and served on active duty overseas.

Some students fail to realize, however, that Veterans Day doesn’t exist just to celebrate past generations of soldiers who served in the Vietnam War and World War II. Soldiers are constantly returning from tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and are no less deserving of celebration. In many cases, thanking a veteran might not even require you to leave the classroom.

Veteran students, young and old, are dispersed throughout campus. Chances are, you’ve walked past several on your way to class. Every war presents its own difficulties for veterans: those who were on active duty in Afghanistan might have little in common with Vietnam war vets. It’s our responsibility as civilians to make sure that each returning soldier is greeted with a hero’s welcome.

As one of America’s top military-friendly schools, NMU as an institution pays a great deal of respect to veteran students the other 364 days of the year as well. With scholarship programs available for ROTC members and that can cover up to 100 percent of their tuition and veteran benefits, it’s clear that returning soldiers have a place among the Wildcats.

Many veterans are beyond college aged and deserve no less appreciation than our peers. Students have the opportunity to attend a Veterans Day reception in the Woodland Apartments’ multi-purpose room, where they will be invited to write letters to the military men and women residing at the Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette.

As a newspaper, we hold the rights granted to us in the First Amendment, specifically the freedom of the press, in particularly high regard. If it weren’t for our men and women fighting overseas, it’s not inconceivable that The North Wind would not exist. So to our veterans and deployed soldiers overseas, we at The North Wind salute you.

The merit of our military veterans are best defined by this widely read proverb: “The definition of a soldier is someone who is willing to write a blank check, payable to the United States people, for an amount up to and including life itself.”