Veteran’s Day Tribute

English: HOUSTON, Texas (Dec. 31, 2009) United...

English: HOUSTON, Texas (Dec. 31, 2009) United States Naval Academy mascot, “Bill the Goat,” assists Midshipmen with the Academy’s Drum and Bugle Corps during the brigade march onto the field prior to the start of the 2009 Texas Bowl college football game at Reliant Stadium. The 35-13 victory over Missouri gave the Navy team a school record of 10 wins for the season. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Dennis J. Herring/Released) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For this post, I am sharing with you a message I wrote for our department’s newsletter.  Thank you to all Veterans for your service to our country so that we might enjoy the wonderful freedoms of living in the United States of America.

Not Your Typical College Students

It seems fitting that just before we celebrate Veteran’s Day I found myself visiting the United States Naval Academy.  I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Pitt football game when we played Navy there last week.  The game itself was an exciting one.  Unfortunately, our Panthers lost on a last second field goal.  Although the game was exciting, I was more impressed by the pageantry and ceremony that takes place at each game.

The festivities started about 30 minutes before kickoff when all of the midshipmen marched out onto the field.  It was quite a sight to see hundreds of midshipmen lined up on the football field.  Then the drum and bugle corps marched onto the field and accompanied the Navy choir in the singing of the National Anthem.  At halftime we were treated to more entertainment from the drum and bugle corps and then also a silent drill team.   They were very impressive as they marched with amazing precision in various formations.

Other than being dressed in their uniforms, the midshipmen watching the game seemed just like typical college students attending their team’s football game.  But they are not.  These college students will serve our country in the armed forces immediately upon graduation.  Many will risk their lives so that we might enjoy the freedom of living in the United States of America.

The midshipmen looked like normal college students on this day.  They cheered mightily when their team kicked the winning field goal.  And they cheered even louder when the Commandant granted them liberty for the night in celebration of the victory and Homecoming weekend.  But they are not normal college students.  And we owe these students, and the many veterans working in our department, our thanks for the freedom we enjoy.  Thank you veterans for all you have done for us and our country.

Thanks for reading,

Ways to follow Dr. Jim Earle:
Twitter – @jvearle
Blog –
Facebook – JVEarleConsulting
Book – 100 Yards of Success: Leadership Lessons from College Football,


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