Veteran’s Day

Casey Chang, Staff Writer

Last Sunday, November 11, was Veterans day, which is the holiday that celebrates those who have fought for our country. Over time, Veterans Day has evolved from honoring those who sacrificed their lives in World War I to respect for all retired soldiers.

This year many people recognize veterans by sharing their stories.  For example, Google publicized five military stories — one from each branch. People have also held parades, such as the annual Pleasanton Veterans Day Parade, which commemorates veterans close to us in our town and exposes us to those who have served.

Originally created by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919, a year after World War I to commemorate everyone who fought and aided America and allies into the win, it was originally called Armistice Day.  President Eisenhower changed the moniker to Veterans Day in 1954.

Currently, in the military, roughly 0.4% of all Americans are actively serving and that is about 1.4 million people, which makes the United States the third largest military in the world. Each year, about 150,000 people enlist and the average age to enlist is just under 21 years old. The most popular and the largest branch is the Army, but the first line of combat is the Marine Corp and Navy SEALS (sea air and land).

At Amador there are a few students enlisted and ready to serve their country this coming June. Some popular reasons enlist are excitement, financial stability, and various benefits.

“Personally, I am very grateful for everything I have been given, and to be able to live in a country and a town like this where I feel safe is a blessing. Sadly, I feel like everyone is entitled to their freedom in our generation. But, I feel like we should earn our freedom” says Jaxen Gurley (‘19).  

Gurley is enlisted to be in the Marines. He plans to serve for around four years and once they are discharged they hope to become firefighters and policeman, and continue to give back to the Pleasanton community.

Two more students at Amador who will be joining the military after college are Alex Strashkin and Ethan Nguyen. Both students have at least two more years at Amador and spend their time trying to advance their Navy career with the Naval Sea Cadet program. Shishkin is a seaman, while Nguyen is a petty officer and a level higher. Strashkin believes that the Navy is one of the least dangerous branches of the army.

“I don’t have the fear of dying in the Navy because unlike the Army or Marine Corp I won’t be sent to a hot zone. Though accidents occur it is possible I could die in a car accident and have accomplished nothing” says Alex Strashkin (‘21).

While Nguyen confronts the idea of possible death and wants to serve because he believes it is something he feels he needs to do. He wants to extend the freedoms he has to other people who were not as fortunate as him.

It’s more about helping out others and spreading my freedom to others because other people don’t have the democracy I have been gifted. So I want everyone to have the right to equal justice and death is scary, but I rely on the fact that I know I will be righteous deeds” says Ethan Nguyen (‘22).

No matter how veterans day is spent it is a day for those who dedicated years of their lives defending our beautiful country. Understanding the significance of what veterans do for our country is one of the most important things citizens must do. Once we become entitled to our freedoms we become ignorant and waste our privileges.