We stand today on a precipice of a changing world facing incredible challenges. The one thing I am increasingly aware of, and proud of, is the rising of a generation that has carved a life out of staring into the unknown of that evolving world and stepping forward. This new generation is fired in a kiln stoked by the greatest generation, and forged from the grit of earth from native soil made resilient by the soil on their boots from foreign lands. When the country is crying out for those that can give for the country, those that have bled, sweat, and shed quiet tears for it are entering into its infrastructure at the roots. We are your sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers leaving behind out uniforms to take on the mantle of responsibility for the nation we know exists beneath the shell of gridlock and bureaucracy. We are going to school educating ourselves in unprecedented numbers with the opportunities granted by service. We carry with us the undying flame that is our dedication to service beyond our own necessity. Our desire to serve selflessly remains our motivation and our uniforms may be hung in the closet, but our honor and our love of country clothes our heart and soul. Sometimes it is in our darkest hour that our youth emerges to boldly take the reigns and push for a better world. While a veteran may not be the single force, you can know with a degree of certainty that the same strong hands that held the tools of defense for a nation against the issues of a foreign origin just as readily seek the tools to build at home. There is no better way to get a soldier to scale a cliff then tell them it is unattainable to reach its peak. There is no better way to push a soldier forward than to place a barrier before them. Soldiers returning home are being stigmatized by some, but there are things you should know about this emerging generation. We have been recovering, not vanishing. We are scarred, but not incapacitated. We were hurt, not broken. We know that each day is a promising lead on tomorrow, and that the investment we make today will carry over to every moment that follows it. In many cases we have faced the ultimate failings when policy, infrastructure, and human beings are at their worst. We have found the philosophy of Socrates's symposium through the lens of humanities most desperate and harsh moments and we know now how to recognize the intense beauty of a world in a shade that those who have not encountered the grotesque can ever know. We will seek to lead without hesitation, but will gladly follow those with the integrity and trustworthiness we expect and in most cases demand of our superiors. We love this country and have served beside men who have not returned in body, but dwell in our being and stand as silent observers of our continued perseverance to a goal of a better nation. We are proud to stand beside you, and though you may never know the entirety of our toils and the weight of our travels, we seek to bet a part of your world and you as a part of ours despite our humble and reserved nature. In the future we will be your doctors, nurses, educators, coworkers, representatives, advocates, public servants, and serving in nearly every facet of your infrastructure imaginable. When you pass a veteran know he or she cares for an entire nation and though his or her time in the armed services is over, his or her desire to arm themselves with knowledge for service has not passed away. A flame of passion and patriotism inside is ever burning, and the fuel of education, experience, and networking are being stockpiled within. We may be somewhat silent now but when we open up be prepared for a enormous number of genuinely caring, selfless, honest, loyal, and tempered individuals hitting the world dedicated to the principles life of equality, justice, social understanding, and national pride. We are still here, we are still serving, and we want this nations to succeed and its people to have the opportunity to better their world.
82nd Airborne Scout Platoon 2/325th AIR
Copyright © 2015 University of North Florida1 UNF Drive | Jacksonville, FL 32224 | Phone: (904) 620-1000