JACKSON TWP.  Community members were invited to the annual Veteran’s Day event at Stark State College on Nov. 9 to honor those who have served and continue to serve the United States through the military. The event is held every year to salute students, faculty, staff and community members who are military veterans or active duty or emergency service personnel.

"We want to honor the service and sacrifice of all of our veterans and active military with the event," said Lisa Gilliland, coordinator for military services at Stark State.

The event included Presenting of Colors, singing of the National Anthem by the Stark State College Chorale, a featured speaker and lunch. The speaker was Retired Lieutenant Colonel, United States Marine Corps Reserve and President of Armada Tom Foos.

Foos spoke about several things related to freedom and liberty. He said the United States citizenry has the freedom to express themselves as they want and they also have the rights to choose their own course in life. Foos said the U.S. Military is necessary to maintain those freedoms and liberties.

He talked about the many sacrifices military personnel and their families endure such as putting their lives at risk every day, long separations, missed birthdays, missed funerals and much more.

"Military members make such sacrifices because they know they are part of something much bigger than themselves," Foos said.

Foos also talked about the difficulties veterans have when coming home and transitioning to being home. He said homelessness, unemployment and suicide rates are higher than the national average among veterans.

"There are several ways to honor and help veterans. They appreciate it when we thank them for their service. Standup for them in whatever way you can including talking to people in government. Hire a vet if you are in a position to do so. They are trained to be on time and take directions. Voting is important. Stand for the National Anthem and put your hand over your heart," Foos said.

He closed his talk with one simple statement that put in perspective what veterans are about.

"I’m proud to be veteran and proud to have served," he said.