HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command’s senior enlisted leader encouraged veterans to talk about their experience of service to friends, family and even strangers, no matter where the opportunity arises.
Command Sgt. Maj. Finis A. Dodson told a group of faculty, students and alumni at the Alabama A&M University, Nov. 8, during their Veterans Day program that veterans sharing their stories can inspire future generations to serve the nation.
“Today, only 1 percent of our nation serves in the military, and 61 percent of those who serve are more likely to have been exposed to military life through friends and family,” Dodson said. “Veterans have firsthand knowledge of the benefits of a military career and can bridge the gap between those who are familiar with military life and those who have never considered the military as a career.”
All around the country these veterans serve as teachers, doctors, engineers, social workers, community leaders, first responders, elected officials and more, Dodson said.
“They continue to serve our communities by making positive contributions, building stronger futures and inspiring future generations,” he said.
Veterans Day is an important day for the country to recognize all who have served the nation with honor and distinction, Dodson said.
“We honor the brave men and women from all walks of life who have stepped forward to defend our nation throughout our history,” Dodson said. “Generations of patriots have dedicated themselves to the defense of our country to make us stronger and more resilient as a nation.”
He said the Army is focused on its people and is committed to taking care of its Soldiers’ health, readiness and development both personally and professionally.
“In the Army, we know our greatest asset is our people,” Dodson said. “Our all-volunteer Army is a credit to Americans of all races, genders, and creeds. And our common commitment to the defense and love of country binds us together and unifies us.”
The U.S. now has the largest population of young veterans since the Vietnam War, Dodson said.
“Duty to our country is a prime reason people want to serve in the Army, but the Army is great career,” Dodson said. “We owe it to these men and women to make sure they transition from active-duty careers with skills and experiences to find meaningful employment.”
Dodson reminded attendees that the nation did not unite and support its veterans during the Vietnam War.
“Unlike previous wars, this one came up close and personal to those at home who watched news coverage of the war on television, something not readily available in prior conflicts,” Dodson said. “We must remember those who served and sacrificed for our country.”
On Veterans Day, and every day, Dodson encouraged attendees to thank veterans for their service.
“As a nation, we must ensure that the service and sacrifices of our veterans are never overlooked or forgotten,” Dodson said. “As we all know, freedom is not free.”
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