People often ask me why I decided to go to business school and if I think the experience was worth the time and the money. In my response, I talk about how the exposure I gained to a range of people’s life views and experiences made it worth it alone. One of my most cherished exposures was to the military through two veteran friends.
Growing up, I knew that my grandpa served in World War II as a chemical engineer, but other than that I personally knew no veterans. I grew up in a suburb of D.C. where my family knew politics and lawyers, but no veterans, and certainly no current soldiers. If you look at the data, where our enlisted soldiers come from in 2016, it helps paint the picture.
I learned a lot about the sacrifice our enlisted make from my friends over the past six years. And, I learned why they thought it was worth it. Both of my friends subscribe to different political ideologies than I do. And, I think, knowing that they served and experienced our country in a way I never will, makes me more open to listening to their arguments.
I wish we all knew more veterans. I wish I exposed myself to different worlds more often now as I did when I was in school. Veterans Day reminded me of that.