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A Discussion in Honor of Veterans Day

November 13, 2019

John McLaughlin, Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence, the Merrill Center for Strategic Studies

In honor of Veterans Day, the Strategic Studies program hosted an event to highlight stories and experiences from faculty and students on military service and national security challenges. The panel was composed of students Matt Mainzer and Andy Wong, professors Nora Bensahel and John McLaughlin and alumna Katey Van Dam.
The panel discussed how and why they decided to join the armed forces, with stories ranging from the Vietnam draft to the duty they felt after the terror attacks of 9/11. Speakers also shared about the reactions of family and friends upon hearing of their plans for military service, in particular how the support of loved ones makes veterans' dedication possible. Furthermore, each of the panelists described their day-to-day experience while in combat and what it means for them to serve, as well as how their academic experience at Johns Hopkins SAIS has influenced their view of the service.
The school community enjoyed taking part in this emotional event which helped the audience better understand what it means to be part of the US military. Attendees were reminded of the gratitude all Americans owe to the brave men and women who serve in the armed forces.