Point of love, sacrifice is servicem Marine tells Austintown students

Friday, November 10, 2017

AUSTINTOWN

On the 242nd anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps, Austintown Fitch High School hosted its 34th annual Veterans Day assembly to recognize area veterans.

Retired Marine Col. Brian Kennedy, the main speaker at today’s event, delivered a speech directed at students on love and selflessness through service.

“That may sound strange from somebody on Veterans Day that isn’t someone from your faculty,” Kennedy said.

He spoke of a gap between the American population and its military. Not quite a half-percent of the U.S. population serves in the military, and Kennedy said events like this are necessary to connect kids with veterans.

His service with the Marines began in 1989.

While serving, he piloted Cobra gunship helicopters, and flew in more than 220 missions. He served in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, the Western Pacific, Australia and across the U.S.

“The point is service,” he said. “I chose to serve because it required all of me: mind, body and spirit.”

He retired from the Marines in 2014 just after receiving the rank of colonel. He found the meaning of love through service by witnessing other veterans involved in community-service projects, like Disabled American Veterans.

“At first I couldn’t really understand why they were so adamant about doing that,” he said. “Really what I realized is that’s just a continuation of their service previously. What they did was find service in civilian life.”

Read more of his remarks in Saturday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.