…Just say “Thank You”

Senior prepares to continue family’s tradition of service…

Jessica Kantor | Staff Writer

It is senior Brennen Meyer’s turn.

After watching generations of his family serve in the military, Meyer is next. He plans to enlist and become Infantry Airborne. This group of soldiers is moved by aircraft and abruptly dropped into battle behind enemy lines, leaving the opposing side unprepared for the sudden attack.

“Each generation of my family has been in the Military,” Meyer said. “It has been my two older brothers most recently, and I want to carry that on. It’s the feeling you get from helping people, not only where you are fighting, but knowing that that you are doing something good: it is a rewarding feeling.”

Meyer said that he sees several benefits to enlisting in the Military after watching several family members serve.

“My brother is in Iraq now and getting out soon,” Meyer said. “Knowing that he is keeping every- body safe is a good feeling; how much [all] veterans have contributed is phenomenal. I would love to become as good as them, hopefully. I know how much they have sacrificed for everybody else — it’s hard to put into words. It’s great what they did, and it takes a lot of courage.”

Senior Evan Metelko said he plans to take a slightly different route by completing a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) program, then enlisting as a lieutenant.

“I will go to college for four years,” Metelko said. “While in college, I will take my classes. During my senior summer, I will be out doing field operations and getting trained and ready. When I graduate from college and am in the real Military and getting deployed, it will definitely be a unique experience.”

Both Meyer and Metelko said that they recognize the courage it takes to enlist, and therefore have the utmost respect for those who have done so in the past.

“Veterans deserve a ton of respect,” Meyer said. “It’s a lot of responsibility. They are keeping us safe and have been through tough times to do so. It is not a matter to be joking about.”

Metelko also said that he takes veterans’ contributions to our country very seriously.

“Too many people take [veterans’] service for granted,” Metelko said. A lot of people take the defense of this country for granted. Veterans just need to be respected more; they don’t get the respect they deserve. Soldiers die [for our country’s safety].”

Metelko said that Americans should not take veterans’ service lightly.

“We all live in our nice little bubbles and don’t think how or why we are here,” Metelko said. “A big part of that is our Military. Their sacrifice is very big.”

Both students said they take an inward look on Veterans Day and are sure to do something to thank the veterans.

“There are lots of walks that you can go to on Veterans Day,” Meyer said. “Matt Maupin’s family [hosts] one. I usually participate in various events scheduled on Veterans Day.”

Metelko said he celebrates the day in a personal way.

“My dad is in the military, so I call him [on Veterans Day] and give him a quick ‘Thank you,’” Metelko said. “It is important to acknowledge the fact that what veterans do is essential, and they should not be taken for granted.”

Metelko and Meyer said that simple things mean most on Veterans Day.

“Everybody should contribute something on Veterans Day, not just presents and money,” Meyer said. “I know from my brothers, uncles and other family members that the biggest reward you can get is a letter or phone call. You don’t usually get to hear from your family or others back home when you are in the Military. [Veterans and soldiers] love to get letters from children or people in general. They love knowing people care about and respect what they are doing.”

Metelko said that even a quick moment is a good way to honor veterans.

“A quick prayer would be [a good way] to honor veterans,” Metelko said. “It’s something that should be thought about every day. To me, Veterans Day should be every day.”