For centuries, American soldiers have made sacrifices for the American people and the American dream. Giving up time with family; missing holidays, anniversaries and birthdays; putting their lives on the line and even giving the ultimate sacrifice, these individuals have fought and protected our rights and our freedom. Today, many people know someone who has given up time in his or her life to fight for ours. Whether they have served in the past, are serving now or will serve in the future, these people have made a pledge to fight for us to keep our rights and freedoms. Veteran’s Day is the perfect time to thank these brave individuals.
The Spartan Battalion, which is training the next leaders of the United States Army, is doing just that.
Cadet Jacob Brandon, a third year student at Michigan State University and member of the Spartan Battalion, acknowledged the importance of Veteran’s Day by saying, “The least we can do for our heroes is to remember them, and remember what they did. For the veterans that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our great country, they gave two lives: the one they were living and the one they could have lived. For the veterans who have served their country in any other way, they have sacrificed irreplaceable time of their life to make the American way of life possible.”
Along with honoring veterans, ROTC works to train students to be Second Lieutenants in the Army, preparing them for physical fitness tests, aptitude tests and leadership responsibilities. By starting off in the classroom, moving to step-by-step examples and eventually drills in real time, they are working to not only grasp concepts and tactics, but also the importance of truly understanding an assignment and being able to fully explain it to others. These students give much of their time to ROTC with physical training at 5:50 a.m. and still balance classes in their respective majors with ROTC classes and labs. Altogether, this helps them gain a sense of accomplishment, confidence and leadership.
Students in the Spartan Battalion are not just training to be leaders in their field, but leaders in every aspect of the Army. As the largest organization in the world, the Army takes more than just those fighting to function at maximum capacity. Some individuals have hopes to join the infantry, while others look to work in finance; all roles are equally important and deserve the ultimate thanks on Veteran’s Day.
The Spartan Battalion understands this and takes steps to ensure local veterans are honored and appreciated. This comes on Veteran’s Day itself, when they visit four local retirement homes to put on a flag folding ceremony for the veterans in these homes. Once the ceremony is over, they take the time to talk with them, listen to their stories and thank them for their service, understanding that one day, that service will be their own.
“Make our soldiers and veterans proud that they have traded years of their life to sustain yours,” Cadet Brandon said. On Nov. 11, Veteran’s Day, be sure to honor those who have made this sacrifice, for they did so out of love for you and our great nation.