For some students Veterans Day is just another day. But for
veterans, it is a day of remembrance.
Jeff McCoy, an assistant military science professor at CSU who
has served in Korea, Bosnia, Kuwait and Iraq, said Veterans Day is
an enjoyable holiday for him and a time to reflect on his time
“(I spend Veterans Day ) just remembering the guys that have
went before me and what they have gone through and just thinking
about the soldiers I have served with and what great Americans they
are,” McCoy said.
McCoy also said his time serving overseas was an “enlightening
experience” and he would do it again in a heartbeat.
“It validates what you are doing for a living,” McCoy said.
“When you deploy, you see what (people) are really like as a
soldier and a person.”
Terry Banks, master sergeant 2 instructor for ROTC, has served
in Germany, Korea, Kosovo and Iraq, and he values his memories from
overseas as well.
“It was an overwhelming experience being over there, fighting
for my country and working with the Iraqis,” Banks said.
Banks said coming back to the United States was quite a change,
but he was happy that citizens at home appreciated him.
“Every time I walk around in my uniform, people are always
shaking my hand and people are telling me ‘thank you’ and ‘good
job,'” he said.
Col. Jackson Self, a military science professor, served in
Germany, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and said he had a massive amount
of support when he came back from serving in Desert Storm and the
current Iraq war.
“I had the advantage of coming back after Desert Storm in that
everyone was so welcoming,” Self said. “It makes you proud; it
makes you walk a little bit taller.”
Self spent about a quarter of his four-and-a-half years in the
military overseas. He said it was those years that made him value
the United States even more.
“Being in combat makes you appreciate a comfortable place to
sleep (and) a warm meal,” Self said. “Because those things you
don’t get when you are in combat.”
Although Self said he would serve again “in a heartbeat and
without hesitation” if he was needed and that he “loved almost
every minute of it,” his military experience is time that he will
never get back.
“When I went to Panama, my daughter had just been born,” Self
said. “Those are pieces of your life that you lose because of what
you are doing.”
McCoy said there is a communication gap between veterans and
“Unless you are a veteran you can’t completely understand until
you have gone through what they have,” McCoy said. “If you aren’t a
veteran you can sympathize.”
McCoy and Self both said the only thing they have ever wanted
from serving overseas was an acknowledgement of a job well
“That is what it is all about,” Self said. “It is not all flags
and banners, it is just someone saying, ‘Thank you for what you