Valiant Vets: The Introduction

by Juan Thomas
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I’ve introduced some new features to The Book of Juan in recent months. There’s Michaela Hughes and her Chaela’s Corner feature. There’s The Best of Awards, which is about 6 ½ weeks out. Experiences in Love and A Mother’s Love will be returning next year alongside the debuting Fantastic Fathers. There are also the real Foreign Service experiences of my colleagues in Diplomatic Stories. About 3 weeks back, I announced 2 Years in Bogotá, which will cover my time here in the Republic of Colombia. But the feature I’m actually most interested in is Valiant Vets.

For 10 years, I served in the Air Force. If you’ve read through the nearly 8 years of this blog, it’s no secret how I feel about my career in military service…the good, the bad, the indifferent. I enjoyed some really good assignments. I made the rank I sought out to make at the very beginning. I won Airman of the Year. But the best part of my decade in the Air Force was the people. I worked with some fantastic people. In the 24 to 30 series, I covered Jacob Dunbar and Lairent Williams…a couple of people who were very crucial to me achieving all that I did in the Air Force. With this series, I intend to cover many of the others that I came across during that time and beyond.

The purpose of the annual Valiant Vets series is to allow 5 servicemembers to share their stories of national service in the American armed forces. It will include those on active duty as well as those who separated and retired from service. I intend to feature the experiences of my brothers and sisters in arms from the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy…both commissioned and enlisted. I even hope to get an attendee to one of the service academies. All of the posts will be featured on the site at 11:00am ET on Veterans Day…the symbolism being the 11th hour on the 11th day in the 11th month in which the hostilities of World War I formally ended. Just as American servicemembers across the United States and the world are celebrated on Veterans Day, The Book of Juan will also celebrate them…in their own words. 

Look out for the stories of the inaugural year of this series in 24 hours’ time.

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