A Letter to Veterans from Jonathan Patrick

Veterans, It is a great honor for me to have the opportunity to address each of you. Our lives as military men and women are so vastly different from those of our friends and family in the civilian world. Our drive and dedication to the mission is part of what makes us stand apart. And standing apart is what inspires other young men and women to join our ranks. It is our duty and our honor to forever represent the services of the United States of America.

Ours is a family that is always welcoming and supremely supportive; one of the many benefits of having put on a uniform to serve our great nation. No matter where we go in this world, service members know one another at a glance and support one another to the end.

The military has been many things to many people. Civilians often assume the military is all about the benefits veterans receive, not understanding the true measure. While we certainly do have opportunities, they come at a great expense and great sacrifice. I will always be grateful to the military for the opportunities it has afforded me, and I will always be respectful of every service member as they have pledged their life in the service of our country.

To join this family is nothing short of a calling. Whether you joined out of patriotism, as a way to better yourself, or in order to escape unrelenting odds, you made the decision and did what it takes to be a military member in support of the greatest country the world has ever known.

Beyond my childhood, I was fortunate enough to begin life on Tank Hill, SC at basic training for the US Army and later to cross over into the USAF to directly support two sitting presidents, transcending the false limitations I felt as a little boy growing up in rural North Carolina.

When it came time after 24 years to reintegrate into the civilian world, it was a bigger challenge than I ever expected. Our community is different. Our community is built on honor, respect, and integrity. Once you are a part of it, it is incredibly hard to walk away from the world you have known your whole life. While moving back into the civilian world is something we all must hope to do at some point in our careers, the person we have become through the military will always be at the core of our being. I am an American fighting man… and I will forever be that person.

Civilians have little concept of the life we lead. The sacrifices we make. The pride we feel. The comfort we take in being surrounded by our brothers and sisters in arms. They look to us with admiration in most circles today, but it hasn’t always been that way… and can very easily change again.

This Veterans Day, I challenge each of you to never forget. To never give in. To never give up. I ask that you let integrity, pride for our country, and love for our family drive your actions. Be the change in your community. Be the inspiration for others. Represent.

Capitol Technology University was founded by one of our own. In a proud heritage of service members serving service members and the local community, Capitol Tech has been the way forward into a brighter future for so many — just as it is for you.

The men and women of Capitol Technology University faculty and Board of Trustees truly appreciate your service and strive every day to serve you in helping build an even stronger tomorrow. On behalf of our family at Capitol Tech; Aim High, Drive on, Semper Fi, and Following Seas. Thank you and God bless.

Jonathan Patrick, MSgt USAF (Retired), Board of Trustees Member