What does it mean to be a veteran?
Chief Master Sgt. Matt Proietti
Job: Air Force Public Affairs Agency
Hometown: Penn Valley, Calif.
Hobbies: Hiking, fishing—the outdoors in general
“I’m honored to have just celebrated my 29th anniversary as an Airman. I have a special place in my heart for those who have served our country in uniform. Being a veteran means putting our nation’s “good” ahead of our own and being willing to put action behind the words of our leaders if diplomacy fails. I honor those who served me, mainly by really listening to their stories and memories of what their time in service meant to them—both at the time of their service and how it affected their lives in the long run. Over the course of my 29+ years as a military and civilian journalist, I have had the opportunity to interview and write about many of our country’s veterans. The stories they tell are amazing and at any given time, you can probably find a veteran who will share his or her story with you. Seek them out this Veteran’s Day and ask them to share with you something about their military experience.”
Master Sgt. Jill LaVoie
Job: AFRC/PA manager
Hometown: Caribou, Me.
Hobbies: Reading, MMA, learning
“A veteran is someone who dedicated themselves to serving their country no matter what. They do not change their steadfast beliefs based on budget, the political climate or public opinion. They understand they serve something greater and that when they wear the fabric of our nation, they represent it. I give back to those who have served by listening to and telling their stories. They have done so much for us in austere and even horrific conditions–we cannot forget this. We, as a country, should honor them, not just through statues and plaques, but through the remembrance of their struggle and sacrifice. They have given enough, so be it with funds or time, if I can help, I will. Many are aging or losing their connection with the world. I treat them all with respect, which they may not have gotten when they returned—even if it’s just saying, ‘Thank you.’”
Chief Master Sgt. Bill Goben
Job: AFRC/PA functional manager
Hometown: Bossier City, La.
Hobbies: Travel, photography
“I believe there is no greater honor than being able to serve our nation as a service member in the U.S. Armed Forces. During our nation’s two hundred and thirty-seven-year-history,, millions of men and women have served in uniform to ensure the United States is able to protect its national interests around the world. Being a veteran, to me, means having an attitude of ‘service’ for a greater cause, more so, than even our own. We should never forget those veterans who came before us. I always make a point to thank veterans for their service. It is because of their service in years past that I am able to serve today. We should never forget their legacies and commitment, especially those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. Today, we are able to enjoy our freedoms due to the dedication and service of all of our military veterans, past and present.”