FCoE celebrates Veterans Day, encourages veterans to stay ‘Soldiers for Life’

By Christopher WilsonNovember 10, 2022

Fort Sill NCO pulls hat trick
Maj. Gen. Kenneth Kamper, commanding general Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill, left, administers the oath of enlistment to Sgt. 1st Class Michael Nazarko, an instructor with Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion, 78th Field Artillery, during a ceremony June 10 2022. Nazarko was also promoted to Sergeant 1st Class and awarded an Army Commendation medal during the same ceremony. (Photo Credit: Christopher Wilson) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT SILL, Okla. (Nov. 11, 2022) — Today, the Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill celebrates Veterans Day and recognizes all who have served the nation with honor and distinction.

The Army’s people are its greatest strength and taking care of them and ensuring they are ready to fight and win our nation’s wars is our top priority, said Maj. Gen. Kenneth Kamper, commanding general of the Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill.

For nearly 100 years, America has observed Veterans Day on the anniversary of the armistice that ended the fighting along the Western Front in World War I Nov. 11, 1918.

Congress made Armistice Day an official national holiday in 1938 and by 1954, its name was changed to Veterans Day. While Memorial Day is a time to remember those who died in the service of their country, Veterans Day is a time to remember all those who have served – past and present.

“Whether you served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard or Space Force – this day belongs to you,” said Kamper. “Generations of patriots have dedicated themselves to the defense of our country to make us stronger and more resilient as a nation.”

Today, only 1% of Americans serve in the military and 61% of those who serve are more likely to have been exposed to military life through friends or family.

Veterans have experiential knowledge of the benefits a military career offers and can share those experiences with people who have never considered the military as a career, said Kamper.

Fort Sill’s senior noncommissioned officer, Command Sgt. Major Stephen Burnley, encouraged Veterans to continue to live by the same values under which they served. Soldiers live by the Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage, he said. They do not leave behind their values and skills when they transition to civilian life, maintaining a life-long identification with the Army.

“We don’t want Veterans to see themselves as ‘former’ Soldiers, but as ‘Soldiers for Life’ — uniquely qualified to advocate for and connect the public with the Army by telling their story,” Burnley said. “If you are a Veteran, share your positive stories about your service this Veterans Day – you can inspire future generations to serve our nation.”

The Army’s Soldier for Life program works in communities across the country to create opportunities for our Soldiers, Veterans and Families, and encourages Veterans to remain connected to the Army.