Q&A: Celebrating Veterans Day with SHSU Student Veterans

Photo courtesy of Today @ Sam

Veterans Day started in 1954 when Armistice Day, celebrated on Nov. 11, was amended into a federal holiday to honor all American veterans.

Today’s 66th Veterans Day, The Houstonian reached out to student veterans to share their stories.

  • Andrew Alexander, U.S. Navy.
    • Q: What made you want to join the Navy?
      • A: I decided to join the military senior year of high school, and I wanted to travel and see the world is what pushed me.
    • Q: When you joined, what were some funny memories of bootcamp?
      • A: My first day there getting screamed at for making eye contact.
    • Q: What were some lessons you learned in your service?
      • A: To be hardworking, sleep at any point in the day, learn to suffer and never judge a book by its cover. You never know who will become your friend or ally.
    • Q: What does Veterans Day mean to you?
      • A: Honor those who have served and those who were not able to make it home.
  • Brian Jowers Jr., U.S. Navy.
    • Q: What made you want to join the Navy?
      • A: I decided to join the Navy because I wasn’t ready to start college or start working. I wanted to travel and get a unique kind of experience. It was a time of self-discovery for me, basically.
    • Q: When you joined, how was basic training for you?
      • A: At the time, boot camp wasn’t all that fun because I was young, shy and a little intimidated by it all, but looking back now it was a pretty cool experience and I am glad I got to do it. I think if I were to do it again today, I would have a lot of fun with it.
    • Q: What are some things that the Navy taught you?
      • A: The military taught me endurance… the ability to keep going regardless of how tired or worn out I became.
    • Q: What does Veterans Day mean to you?
      • A: Vets day for me is always a reminder of my time in service. It’s basically a nostalgia day. All my friends that I made while serving post throwback pictures from when were in and it brings back a flood of memories.
  • Mason Williams, U.S. Marine Corps.
    • Q: What made you join the Marines?
      • A: I wanted to deploy overseas and see exciting things. I grew up watching Iraq and Afghanistan and wanted to have my chance to go there if need be.
    • Q: What were some funny memories from training?
      • A: I thought maybe the Marines was a bad idea when on the second week, I was “smoked” or forced to very strenuous exercise for a long time because “I existed.” I was convinced that my drill instructors were psychos, but in the end, they made me a better man.
    • Q: What did the military teach you?
      • That the U.S. is a very diverse place, and that if we all come together and endure hardships together, we can achieve great things, and that humans absolutely can fall asleep anywhere.
    • Q: How will you celebrate Veterans Day this year?
      • A: Probably going out to dinner with my girlfriend and taking time to talk with guys I served with. It’s important to keep in touch with those you served with.

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