What being a veteran means to a veteran

By: Collin Frazier

frazierc@findlay.edu

@Collin_53

 

This upcoming Monday, Nov.11, is Veteran’s Day. It is a time to reflect and appreciate what our armed forces do to protect our country and our freedoms. It’s also a time to thank the members of the military that served their time and came home safely. Seth Thompson, double major in Animal Science and Western Equestrian, was also a veteran of seven years. If you were to ask Thompson what his original plans for after high school, they were nowhere near serving the nation.

“I played college baseball right out of high school. I pursued this for two years just to sort of satisfy my parents,” said Thompson. “After two years, I knew for sure that I wanted to go into the military. I feel like it is every young man’s dream to run off [and] taunt the reaper.”

While serving the military, Thompson was stationed in several different parts of the world.

“I served in the army, as an 11B (infantryman) for seven years,” “I spent quite a lot of that time deployed overseas,” said Thompson. “I have been to both Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Korea.”

Being in the military does not consist solely of having a gun at the ready to eliminate threats to the country. It’s about building relationships, gaining intel, and helping out people in the country the military was in, which Thompson did in his time serving.

“Deployments are not full of firefights, raids, and ambushes. There are times that you get to do all of those things, some deployments more than others, but there is also a lot of counter insurgency stuff you do as well,” said Thompson. This is anything from talking to the village elders to see if they need anything from us, to taking rice and tea to the local populace to try and win over the hearts and minds of the people.”

Unfortunately, one of the hardest parts of being a veteran is having to return to society when you just spend several years ready for the worst. Thompson was no exception to this.

“Everything sort of loses its shine. In combat deployments every decision has serious consequences,” said Thompson. “You learn to operate at such an intense level all the time and then you get back or get out and all of a sudden trying to decide where to eat for dinner seems dull. You end up becoming addicted to that rush, plus it’s hard to replace those people that you served with. Military brothers would sacrifice their lives for you, sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to get someone to do you a simple favor in civilian life.”

Now a veteran himself, Thompson has a different view on what Veteran’s Day means.

“It’s a day to pause and remember that there are still men and women overseas,” Thompson commented. “[It’s a day] to be thankful, I’m one of the lucky ones that lived and didn’t make that ultimate sacrifice. [It’s a day] to thank all my brothers who I had in my six overseas [tours].”

Being the veteran that Thompson is now, he does say that getting thanked and being appreciated does mean a lot to him.

“Thanking veterans for their service is great, but if you personally know a veteran, reach out and let them know you’re proud of them,” said Thompson. “Regardless of your politics, we aren’t the ones who chose the conflict. Most of them probably carry around ghosts or scars that you will never see. We don’t want anyone’s sympathy, but sometimes it’s nice to feel appreciated.”

If you are interested in joining to commemoration of our veterans, the University of Findlay will be holding events throughout the day on Nov.11. On behalf of the Pulse, we want thank all veterans, all currently serving, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend this country.

 

For all things Findlay, pick up The Pulse on newsstands, read it on our site, and follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.