Veterans dinner is a tribute to veterans past, present and future

Tom Bogart Addresses Crowd at the MC Veterans dinner. Photo by Jeremy Cameron.
Tom Bogart Addresses Crowd at the MC Veterans dinner. Photo by Jeremy Cameron.

You may have heard the saying, “The thing about icebergs is you only see about 10 percent.” The same can be said about the amount of work of the faculty and staff at Maryville College puts in so that we, the students, can enjoy our time here.

On Sept. 29, the military students were honored to bear witness to an extra portion of the aforementioned hard work put in by MC’s faculty and staff.

As you may know, MC is a military friendly school with grants to help support our ever growing endeavors on this path. One of the aspects in the grants was that the college hold a formal dinner once a year for the veterans and their families.

This new tradition here on our campus has allowed veteran students and staff to enhance comradery of like minds, and it has been able to unite past and present students that can use success stories for motivation and inspiration.

Having been able to attend the Veterans dinner last year and again this year has been a great honor. To see so much hard work pay off in such a short time has been a true inspiration.

This year’s guest speaker, retired Air Force Col. Scott “Dutch” Murray, inspired us all to continue to be successful by following three key pieces to success: be passionate, be inclusive and be deliberate.

During our time here at Maryville College, we all need to be passionate about what we are doing. Without passion, we are just going through the motions, and so much of what is being offered to us will be lost because we aren’t actively involved in our learning process.

Military students have been prepared for the worst days of their lives, but here at MC, we are all given the opportunity to prepare for the best days of our lives. We do not want to lose sight of that.

Most military students attending MC are older than the average student. This may increase the chances of dismissing students we see as having a different mindset. This is incompatible with the idea of being inclusive.

However, in my time here, I have found that when we stay engaged with each other, even with students that are younger, we all end up learning something. This symbiosis is essential if we want to obtain our highest level of learning with minimal exertion.

Many confuse being deliberate with being defiant to their detriment. When you are steadfast in your actions and believe with passion and vigor in what you are doing in life, every action you make will become more deliberate.

This is not only a key to success, but also a key to happiness. Figure out who you are and what you have to offer the world, and share it, deliberately.

A final sentiment, shared by Murray, in the words of Austin “Dusty” Miller, “A man’s flight through life is sustained through knowledge.” When we each graduate from this consummate institute of learning, we will surely see just how true those words ring.

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