Like most people on Veteran's Day, I think about veterans. My thoughts do not start with myself and how I earned that free meal at Applebee's. Along with a few doses of personal reality I am simultaneously sad and proud of the men and women serving past, present and future. No matter your stance on the foreign policy of the United States, the sacrifices are undeniable. The individuals who have served and their families have made sacrifices.
Yesterday I waited in a doctor's office for three hours. What is even worse is I waited for months for that appointment. To my own fault, I should have started trying to get that appointment two years ago. Not to my own fault, I did. I got out of the military and promptly started the paperwork to attain my health care services from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
"Where do you work?" is one of the first questions asked when you meet someone. Your job and career path say a lot about you as a person. First impressions and self confidence are dependent on it. No matter how much the individual likes his or her job, as a society we stereotype people based on their career or lack thereof.
Any recruiter will be the first to tell you how polished your resume will look and how in demand you will be in the civilian world. Some of it's true, and some of it's not.
I feel I would be remiss if we didn't take a moment to reflect on the terrorist attacks of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001. It is fair to say that day changed the world we live in for every person in this country. It changed my life for sure. I realize this column is nearly a week late from the anniversary, but it transcends boundaries. I could write about it at any time, and its connection with people would be there.
With the Medal of Honor Convention about to kick off in Knoxville I thought it to be an appropriate topic for this week's column. Rather than talk about the details of the event I would like to talk about the meaning of individual awards in the military.
The inaugural Summer Jam on August 2nd drew hundreds of people to the Lascassas Ball Field in Lascassas, Tenn. in an effort to save the baseball and softball fields from being closed down.
The event offered live music, giant inflatable toys, a silent auction, a cake walk and a pitch speed contest. The entry fee was based on donations alone and for a donation of $25 or more you would receive a shirt with your entry. All of the proceeds went towards bringing the old lighting systems at the park up to Rutherford county code.
Brandon Rupert was born in Ann Arbor, Mich. on February 5, 1986. He graduated from Tecumseh High School in Tecumseh, Mich. in 2004. He then attended Washtenaw Community College and received an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts. After attending community college he worked for Balance Consulting, LLC, also in Ann Arbor, Mich. as a software salesman and consultant. In 2008 he joined the United States Marine Corps and served in Operation Enduring Freedom. He was Honorably Discharged in 2012. He now attends the University of Tennessee and is pursuing a degree in journalism.