Veterans Day Stories
In November 1919, then President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11th as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations..."
The Voice of the Wildcats takes pride in sharing these stories from some of our staffers about the veterans among their families and friends.
Eric White used the military to provide for education
By Rene White
Eric L. White, 54, served in the U. S. Army for 30 years. He began his career as a private at the age of 19 when he became enlisted. As he progressed throughout his career he became a command sergeant major.
White, who worked as an intelligence specialist, was awarded a purple heart medal as a result of an injury he sustained in the Gulf War.
White said he joined the military to provide a better life for himself and his family. "So many high schoolers were able to afford college, but my parents couldn't, so I had to find a way to be successful," he says.
His ultimate goal, White says, was to achieve a college degree while also trying to provide a roof over his family's heads. Enlisting in the military allowed him to serve his country but to also follow his dreams at no cost.
Joining the military, he says, was the best thing that has ever happened to him. His time in the service of the country lived up to his expectations.
"Joining the service made me a fighter not just for the army but a fighter for my family and a fighter for a better life," he says. The military had its highs and lows but that the benefits of serving someone other than oneself is the greatest fulfillment of all, he says.
Darren Peterson served active duty and as a reservist
By Aijah Rolle
Darren Peterson, my older cousin on my mom's side, is a veteran. Peterson lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He served in both the U.S. Army and the Army reserve for 15 years. He continues to be a loyal veteran, great dad and husband.
Peterson, 47, did one tour of duty. He says he had a positive experience in the military. He highly recommends it.
Ronald Jackson retains strong feeling about the military
By Malik Grant
Ronald Jackson,70, served in the U.S. Army for 11 years.
A resident of Washington, D.C., Jackson fought in the Vietnam war. He was honorably discharged once the war was over.
Jackson, who was drafted, has strong feelings about the military. He says he only fought so he would not go to prison. He also says he wishes he had that time served back, adding he regrets everything he did in connection with the war.
On a positive note, Jackson says he feels like the military is safer and better today than when he served. But he noted that in his opinion, the overall morals have not changed.