May is National Military Appreciation Month By Lorrie Baird

May is National Military Appreciation Month.  I am a military mom and I have a son who is serving in the Air Force and is currently deployed overseas.  I want to remind everyone to remember current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those who died in the pursuit of freedom.  The military has played a very important role in the development of our country.  The U.S. Army was created in 1775 to protect the freedom of the first 13 colonies.  Since then our military has grown into a leading fighting force which serves to defend our vast population and to protect our national interests.

One of the benefits of being in the military is the GI Bill which helps servicemembers, veterans, and their families to achieve their education goals through a variety of GI Bill programs.  The purpose of the GI Bill is to reward members of the Armed Forces for their service and to give them a means to readjust to civilian life after serving.

Many of us deal with military and veteran students daily helping them reach their goals and achieve their full potential.  Many Veterans returning to college face unique challenges and it is up to faculty and staff to help transitioning soldiers through all means possible.  As Bob Lutz, a Marine veteran and motor industry veteran (GM, Chrysler, Ford, BMW) once said,

Veterans personify economic strength… veterans represent the ready workforce for the 21st century… veterans, regardless of their generation, have the soft skills that every employer seeks: team players with a strong work ethic, loyalty, the ability to start a job, and get it done all the way through. 

It is imperative for institutions of higher education to provide a supportive environment for veterans to transition from the military to civilian life while earning a college degree. Focusing on student veterans’ assets fosters their confidence and resiliency. Higher education faculty & staff can work with student veterans to improve veteran recruitment, admissions, advising, retention, graduation rates, and support.

Take time to recognize veteran and military students during the month of May, National Military Appreciation Month.  And don’t forget Memorial Day a day to remember and honor persons who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. It is because of these brave men and women that we can live the lives we live.

Soldier Poem

By Angela Goodwin

There is discipline in A Soldier you can see it when he walks,
There is honor in A Soldier you hear it when he talks.
There is courage in A Soldier you can see it in his eyes,
There is loyalty in A Soldier that he will not compromise.
There is something in A Soldier that makes him stand apart,
There is strength in A Soldier that beats from his heart.
A Soldier isn’t a title any man can be hired to do,
A Soldier is the soul of that man buried deep inside of you.
A Soldier’s job isn’t finished after an 8 hour day or a 40 hour week,
A Soldier is always A Soldier even while he sleeps.
A Soldier serves his country first and his life is left behind,
A Soldier has to sacrifice what comes first in a civilian’s mind.
If you are civilian – I am saying this to you…..
Next time you see A Soldier remember what they do.
A Soldier is the reason our land is ‘Home of the free’,
A Soldier is the one that is brave protecting you and me.
If you are A Soldier – I am saying this to you…..
Thank God for EVERY SOLDIER Thank God for what YOU do!

Lorrie’s son