As it does each Veterans Day, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) thanked veterans everywhere for their military service to our country. Many Institute employees gathered with their colleagues to pay tribute to those in military service both past and present, and special recognition was made to those TTI veterans in attendance. Some 30 current TTI employees have served in various branches of the U.S. military.
“It’s appropriate that we step back and recognize those who served our country,” said TTI Agency Director Dennis Christiansen in his opening remarks. “We enjoy jobs and a nice work environment, and we can do this because a lot of people are in places that aren’t very pleasant right now, fighting for this country, our freedoms, and our ability to do this.”
Former TxDOT Executive Director and Texas A&M graduate Lieutenant General Joe Weber (USMC, retired) spoke to attendees about how Veterans Day came to be and the special nature of service today. Veterans Day, he said, is not just a commemorative holiday; it’s an opportunity to educate young people today about how dearly their freedoms were bought and also to recognize how the changing face of warfare has asked more of our young service members than ever before.
“Thirty-six years in the Marines working with young men and women from all over the country, and [today’s] young men and women are the most courageous I’ve ever seen,” noted Weber. “They’ve been through a different kind of war.”
Weber also thanked TTI for being a staunch supporter of veterans, both as an employer of service members once they muster out of the military and as a community of friends and family that helps build strong character in the individuals who volunteer to serve.
“You in this room—the mothers, fathers, parents, teachers, professors, researchers—are heroes, because you have done something that continues to put young men and women into our services, to make that choice to volunteer,” Weber said. “And as long as we have communities like that and people like that sitting in this room, we’re going to be okay. But it’s something we can never, ever take for granted.”