The men shared their military
experiences with the students in an effort to help students
understand the role of our military men and women.
Van Bibber was the key speaker. He set
two goals for the students:
- Make a commitment.
- Work at preparedness.
He then set out and drew
correlations between the military and the students' lives,
emphasizing the importance of preparedness.
The military simply doesn't accept
excuses from soldiers or officers not doing their job or not being
on time. Van Bibber illustrated how students can find more success
and contentment in life if they commit themselves to preparedness
The televised military news of the
day on Monday backed up his statement. All the commanders who were
interviewed in Iraq stated in their comments that they were
"prepared" for their entry to Falluja.
Students are much more successful if
they disciplined in their daily life. This is done in small steps,
such as getting enough sleep, being on time for the bus and having
homework done. It can be done when you commit yourself to completing
a challenging class, Van Bibber said.
He had a course in which the
instructor told them the first day to look around at their
classmates. Fifty percent of you will be here when this course is
done; you decide today which you will be, they were told. Van Bibber
said he looked around, but he already knew he was going to be there
to finish; he was committed.
Right now that translates into "Do
your homework," he said. Later in life this translates to "Learn
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Through the multidisciplinary
process, military personnel learn confidence. It is found in small
things, such as impeccable tidiness and readiness to respond to
instructions of left or right pivots. It is found in experiencing
team effort, belief in self and what lies ahead. It is in the
military attitude of problem-solving, such as the use of counting
the hours of the day as 2400 hours in order to avoid confusion of
a.m. or p.m. In the military, 11 a.m. is 1100 hours, 11 p.m. is 2300
He encouraged students to not be
part of a problem. Be part of the solution. Take care of yourself.
If you are sick, stay home, but as soon as you are able get back in
school. Do your homework. If you have trouble doing the work, find
other students to network with or form a study group. Do what you
need to do to get it done.
Make the choice today to change your
life and it will follow you. If you don't, your life will be
limited. He believes that success in life is your choice and leads
to contentment and a better more rewarding life.
He concluded, "Don't cheat yourself.
The three other speakers offered
different views of their military experiences. Wayne Schrader spoke
to the students on the meaning of the flag and honoring it.
Haak and Bryson, who were involved
in military combat, shared some of their war experiences.
The students showed interest and
respect for what the veterans had to say, being attentive throughout
the talks, and they had good questions afterward. They were
particularly intrigued by the handy-dandy military can opener that
Van Bibber showed them.
The AMVETS members hope to speak at
other schools in the future.