Speaker: Vets are about service
By Joe Gorman
Veterans Day can be summed up in one word, a speaker said Friday during a ceremony at the Mahoning County Courthouse.
“It’s all about service,” said retired Lt. Col. Rod Hosler, a member of the county Veterans Service Commission who also was a professor of military studies at Youngstown State University.
Hosler was the main speaker at the United Veterans Council of Greater Youngstown Veterans Day Observance in the rotunda of the courthouse.
Hosler said veterans are people who exemplify the best qualities of service, by leaving their homes and families to risk their lives in order to protect our nation.
He said the bond among veterans is stronger than family in some cases because they are often thrown together in dangerous circumstances far from home and they do not want to let their comrades down. He said the most enduring memories from the service for veterans are often of the people with whom they served.
“It’s the people you serve with that you remember the most,” Hosler said. “You get to know them better than your wife or your brother. You would lay down your life for them.”
He joked that members of the military are often referred to or refer to each other by nicknames that make no sense. Yet he said they do not matter because “at the end of the day, they all know they are on the same team.”
“We’re Americans, and we serve because that’s what we do,” Hosler said.
Hosler said he was proud to serve on the commission because of Mahoning County’s rich heritage of military service. He said when he was at YSU, he swore in 25 students to be second lieutenants in the Army. Every one of those students served in Iraq or Afghanistan, and some served multiple tours. All survived their tours, Hosler said.
“They served not just because it was their duty but also because it was the right thing to do,” Hosler said.
Hosler advised veterans to be proud of their service and be ready to tell people when they ask when and where they served. He said veterans need to pass on their stories so people will know of their service and sacrifice.
“Don’t let your service be forgotten,” Hosler said.