Thank you to Dr. Richard Baker, Col (USAFR, ret.), for penning this letter of gratitude for all of the veterans in the Capitol community. We appreciate your service and sacrifices, and honor each and every individual who has bravely fought to defend our Nation this Veteran's Day. Thank you.
Dear Active Duty, Reservists, National Guard personnel and Veterans,
Capitol Technology University wishes to thank those who have served and are currently serving this nation in uniform from all branches: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard. Service to our country has been the greatest act a citizen can perform, and veterans have been stepping forward since the Revolutionary War.
My family has had someone in uniform in the Army or Air Force for every generation since the Civil War. I was lucky to grow up around family members who had served in the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II, and they were my inspiration to join. My two greatest influences were my father, who served in World War II in the Pacific, and my great-uncle, who fought at the battle of San Juan Hill, Cuba.
I served thirty-seven years in the United States Air Force and Air National Guard. From my entry as an Airman Basic to retirement as a Colonel, I was able to work with military members and veterans from all walks of life. It was the most challenging and rewarding experience one can have.
But the greatest memories are those of leadership demonstrated by veterans in every branch of service. Wherever you look in the military and at every rank, leadership and service before self are principal elements that veterans continue even after leaving the active military. They project the values of honor, loyalty, duty, respect, selflessness, integrity, and courage into our country’s military, government, industry, and academia, building a stronger nation and society.
Membership to the group called veterans comes with a price; It cannot be bought. It cannot be rented. It cannot be won in a raffle or given as a gift. It must be earned, and once earned, it is an honor that should be worn proudly. I encourage you to wear something this year on November 11 to let others know you are a veteran of the United States military. It might be a US flag lapel pin, a tee shirt, a unit ball cap, or another item identifying you as a military member.
We at Capitol Technology University appreciate your efforts to make our country both strong and safe. To those who have served and those who continue to serve, we salute you as we are in your debt.
Thank you for your service.
Richard E. Baker, Ph.D., Col (USAFR, ret.)
Professor and Associate Dean of Graduate Programs