Monday, November 11, 2013

GOOD READS: Veterans Day thoughts from young veterans

Posted By on Mon, Nov 11, 2013 at 2:11 PM

For Veterans Day, we’ve collected some of our stories about veterans and military service here. And it’s worth mentioning today that many more of our stories are about military veterans — but because they’re now students or parents or restaurant managers or business owners, and that’s why we’re interviewing them, they don’t get mentioned as veterans. And that’s how it’s supposed to work.

But, if you’re only going to read one thing about veterans today, make it this piece in the Atlantic by Alex Horton, who’s long written about the veteran experience and is now in his senior year at Georgetown University:

I’m here in my senior year to learn just as they are, and my frustrations lead me to understand that I’m both more and less prepared at tackling life than my classmates. Younger students, for example, can look at and discuss the world as if seeing it for the first time. There is value in an uncolored perspective. I have to constantly remind myself not to view everything through the lens of a cynical former door-kicker.

The intangibles veterans bring are important—discipline, teamwork, leadership. But those things are the icing when we thought they were the cake. We have a completely different mission to gain new expertise and education that complement our military-honed skills. Our task isn’t simply to cram a military circle peg into a civilian square hole.

Read the whole thing here. If you want to read more, here are a few other pieces:

“Music, Fashion, and the Civil-Military Divide,” a post by Kayla Williams, author of Love My Rifle More Than You, about whether events and programs for veterans really make a difference.

“Writing About War: I Hate It but Can’t Stop,” by Don Gomez, who I met in New York several years ago while he was in college. He’s now back in the Army and frequently writes here.


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