Veterans Day

Sergeant+Robert+Martin+training+for+deployment.

Sergeant Robert Martin training for deployment.

Aubrey Martin, Editor

John 15:13 states, “Greater love has no one that this; than he lay down his life for his friends.”  When people wake up on Veteran’s Day, for most of them it is a normal day, but for millions around the world it is a day of remembrance.  At Potosi High School it is taken very seriously that veterans and their family members are honored correctly on this day.  Dozens normally crowd the PHS library when fruit, donuts, tea and coffee are provided, giving students the chance to eat breakfast with their invited veteran. 

I sat down with my dad, Sergeant Robert Martin of the Missouri National Guard after the assembly, who has served on deployment and is currently still active duty in the Army.  When asked how he felt to have been honored in such an important assembly such as the Veteran’s Day assembly, he replied, “The assembly makes me feel pride, not in myself, but, in the school and the student body.  The honor belongs to them for their amazing and unanimous show of support and appreciation for the armed forces and those who have lost their lives serving.” Having my dad honored at my schools assembly makes me feel many different emotions.  It is almost a surreal feeling to see him sitting down there among dozens of other veteran’s, and I am sure the students feel the same sense of pride watching their friend or family member be recognized for their courage and bravery.

I was very young when my dad enlisted in the Army, and all I can remember feeling is  constant worry because as a kid joining the military seemed to be a scary and dangerous thing to do, but learning as I got older why my dad made the decision he did, made me feel very proud. He says, “I joined the military later in life than most people.  Most people join before they turn 21, the age cutoff for the Army is 35. Although I have always wanted to serve, I missed the chance because of other decisions I made prior.  In 2007, in the midst of spreading wars in multiple middle-eastern countries, the U.S. Army raised the age limit to 42 and I was given the chance to feel like I was going to make a difference.  I enlisted in June of 2007 and shipped out to basic training in 2008, this felt like my way to contribute to something bigger than me.”  Knowing that it takes a special kind of commitment to want to fight for the freedom of strangers across our country, made me feel even more proud of my dad and although it’s scary, I know that someone has to step up and take action.  My dad being one of those people is even better.

There are hundreds of thousands of jobs that can be performed in the military, so I asked Sergeant Martin exactly what his specialty is.  He said, “I am an Eleven Bravo, which is a combat infantryman.  My primary functions are to shoot, move and communicate.  As a squad leader I control 2 men who in turn control 3 men each, I guide the team leaders, they guide the teams.”  The job title of ‘infantryman’ can sound very scary, signing up to go to combat not knowing if my dad or the men and women in his platoon will make it home is scary, but the overwhelming feeling of pride that I feel in these men and women makes up for it.  

On Veterans Day, take a moment to think about the millions of soldiers that are everyday fighting for our freedom, and give a moment of silence for those whose family members grieve over the loss of their fallen soldiers.