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Why Veterans Day has become one of my favorite days of the year

By Shawn Andrews, 11/11/19, 8:45AM EST


the ramblings of a grateful coach

Why Veterans Day has become one of my favorite days of the year,

Every year I am emotionally taken aback by the outpouring of sincere appreciation and love for our service members past and present. In many ways this single day fills my heart with pride in ways that no other day on the calendar can do.  It creates a general sense of gratitude in us that few other experiences can. How different would our world be if our first inclination was to serve others, and be grateful for those who have sacrificed for us.

I have not personally served in our military, I have family members who have. Both of my grandfathers are veterans, one of my uncles is a veteran, my cousin is a veteran my father in law is a veteran  but to be honest, growing up I really didn’t realize what that meant until later in life. In fact, I can remember the precise location of when I gained an appreciation for military service. I was chaperoning an 8th grade trip to Washington DC when our group of 8th graders crossed paths with a group of Honor Flight Veterans at Arlington National Cemetery.  Say what you want about today’s youth, but in that moment I saw the best in those 8th graders. I watched as each one of them shook the hands of the World War II and Korean war veterans and thanked them for their service to our country. I watched as what started as compliance quickly became genuine gratitude in our young people. I watched as 8th graders, and veterans openly weep completely immersed in the moment.  As I stood in our National cemetery it hit me like a ton of bricks. I wept, ashamed that it had taken me this far into my life to truly appreciate the sacrifice of those who serve for us. That moment shaped me as a person going forward. How can I serve others, how I can I make gratitude a part of my life and the lives of those around me. 

Just this weekend I listened to Tom Ryan the head wrestling coach at the Ohio State University talk about service, and how you can’t serve others without sacrificing something within yourself.  At the time he wasn’t directly talking about those who serve in our military but I don’t know if I have come across a more succinct description of service. It leaves me with the question, what can we sacrifice for others? What  powerful way to be a positive in pact in others by giving of yourself.  

Service and gratitude go hand in hand, when your first thought is outward and you are focusing on what you can do for others you become keenly aware of what others are doing for you. You gain an appreciation for the blessings in your life. It is why 11/11 has become such an important day on my calendar.  It is on this day that we collectively say thank you to those who have sacrificed; that is more genuine and heartfelt than any other day of the year including the one with the turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie. It makes us feel a sense of pride to thank those who have served. My challenge to you is to thank them and all of the other people in our life not just one time a year but all year long. I found the following passage from a Harvard Medical School passage 

"Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power."

This is why Veterans Day makes us feel so good! It connects us to other people in a genuine way that is void of any selfish motive.  

On this veterans day I would like to thank the following wrestlers who have come through the Marysville Wrestling program and gone on to serve our country.  In less than 24 hours with the help of a few people we were able to create this list. My guess is that it is because those around us are genuinely grateful for the past and present service of these young men. I am sure there are wrestlers that have served who are not on this list, any omission is certainly not intentional. Thank you doesn’t seem to be enough, my hope is that in acknowledging your sacrifice we can inspire others to serve, be it the military or civilian service, know that what you have done for our country has not gone unnoticed. 


Jim Andrews- Air Force/Army

Ben Rings-Army

Blanye Landon- Army

Adam Hettel Army National Guard

Noah Forrider- Navy

Tony Nelson-Army

Tony Hucle-Army

Adam Rausch- Army

Adam Slack-Army

Michael Griggs-Army

Devin Slabaugh- Army

Kip Michael- Air Force

Doug Oberlin- Army

Eric McKinley- Air Force

Austin Hattery-Marines

Jason Heard- Army

Jordan Welch-Marines

Noah Danals- Army

Neil Rausch-

Jordan Simmons- Army

Jon Alexander- Air Force 

Sam Norris- Air Force

David Balderson- Air Force

John David Miller - Air Force

John King Army

Ron McKenzie- Marines

Jim Stritchek- Marines

Mike Roseberry- Marines 

Don Pyers- Navy

Dave Chandler- Navy

Rick Holt- Navy

Dan Gordon- Army

Jacob Thornton-Navy

Jeremy Thornton- Navy

Chad McGlone

Kyle Potts- Army

Thomas Richardson

Ryan Hopkins-Air Force

Eric Fannin-Marines 

Brian Payne- Army

Danny Fannin- Army

Aaron Brofford- Marines

Brian Rausch 

Austin Garza- Marines

Cole Hosterman Army

Sam Shroyer- Army 

Ralph Miller- Army  Jeff Mouser- Army
Patrick McGuire- Marines      


With sincere thanks

-Coach Shawn Andrews