Veterans Day: A Time for Reflection and Appreciation

In honor of Veteran’s Day, I welcome guest blogger Mary Weller, HCPSS Secondary Science Coordinator. Mary has been with HCPSS since 2010, and became a science educator after serving in the U .S. Navy.
Veterans Day: A Time for Reflection and Appreciation

By Mary Weller, HCPSS coordinator of Secondary Science

Veteran’s Day is an important day for every American. For those of us who have served in the armed forces, it can be a special time of reflection on our military experiences and the impact those experiences have had on every aspect of our lives.

Education is my passion and my life’s calling, and I believe no other profession carries more impact than that of a teacher.  But while it has been quite a few years since I last boarded a naval ship, I still consider the work I did during my years in the military to be some of the most important work that I have ever done. Those experiences shaped my life in countless different ways.

I joined the U.S. Navy during the Cold War era. I felt it was an important commitment to make for my country, and military service offered many great opportunities that were less accessible to women in other fields at that time. As a young surface warfare officer, I had huge responsibilities and had to make decisions that could literally be matters of life or death. Most civilians don’t realize just how much responsibility is on the shoulders of very young people in the military. Those experiences gave me the confidence to take on more of life’s challenges, and they give me greater perspective in dealing with many of the non-life threatening decisions of everyday life.

My naval service also opened my eyes to many cultures, influences, and experiences that were far beyond anything that I had encountered. As I discovered the world, I learned more about myself, and realized that teaching would give me opportunities to open my students’ eyes to the infinite wonders of science, and help them grow and discover just as I had done.

Many veterans work here in Howard County schools, including many who served far longer and in more dangerous settings than I did. I am awed by their sacrifices, and deeply grateful for their decision to take time from their lives to serve others.