On Veteran’s Day, students gathered to hear Brig. Gen. R. Van McCarty talk about the historic treaty that ended World War I.
Veterans Day is celebrated annually in the U.S. since 1918 when the Allied nations and Germany put into effect a peace treaty on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
After a brief introduction by Lt. Gen. Steve Liebenrood, the military veterans student admissions counselor, McCarty spoke to the crowd about his time in the Army. He has served for 33 years, and he currently lives in Lexington, S.C. He was a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 and 2005. During his time in the military, he met FMU’s president, Dr. Fred Carter.
McCarty received several awards and medals during his time in the military. He graduated from the Citadel in 1982. He said that thanking and appreciating veterans is important because many veterans who served in the Vietnam and Korean wars were not properly thanked when they arrived home.
“The service and sacri ce of others is important, and it does affect me,” McCarty said. “It affects all of us.”
McCarty spoke about the values and important qualities that he and his fellow servicemen have learned over the years.
“It pays to listen a lot more than it does to talk,” McCarty said. “Patience and listening skills are timeless values, and you won’t nd them wearing out over time.”
Freshman computer science major Walter Belton attended the Veteran’s Day event and is a member of the ROTC program at FMU. He explained that participating in ROTC has taught him about what it might feel like to serve in the military.
“I’ve learned some of the customs and courtesies,” Belton said. “I’ve learned more about what it truly means to wear the uniform, not to actually be in service, but to feel what it’s like to be a part of serving.”
The members of the ROTC program planned to post and retire the colors before and after the event, but a few of them were involved in a car accident the day before and could not perform this part of the ceremony.
Belton came to the event to remember and celebrate those who have served in the U.S. military.
“I’m here today to look back on those who have served before us and those who are serving currently, not to look back at their loss as something bad, but to see the good they’ve done,” Belton said. “Today, we’re remembering those missing in action, killed in action and prisoners of war.”
After the event, the University Programming Board provided ice cream for the students and guests in attendance. Many guests stayed to meet McCarty and the members of the ROTC program. Guests gathered around McCarty and the other military personnel in attendance to shake their hands and thank them for their service.