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  • Writer's pictureLucas Blanco

Honoring Memorial Day with Serviceman Feature: Testimonial from a Dear Veteran


Asian Pacific Americans standing together.

Memorial Day holds a profound significance as we come together to honor and remember the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the armed forces. At ReDefiners World Languages, our mission is to equip and empower individuals in the U.S. to be multilingual global citizens. In this article, we feature a testimonial from a veteran, highlighting the connection between Memorial Day, language diversity, and cultural appreciation.


As we reflect on Memorial Day, we find inspiration to embody the spirit of service, unity, and resilience in our own lives. Through their sacrifice, our fallen heroes remind us of the importance of embracing multilingualism and celebrating diversity. As we honor them, let us carry their legacy forward by empowering individuals to become multilingual global citizens, fostering an appreciation for diverse cultures, and upholding the values they fought to protect.


Join us as we remember the sacrifice, honor the fallen, and renew our commitment to ensuring that their memory lives on. Through our collective efforts, we can create a society where language diversity thrives, cultural understanding flourishes, and the legacy of our fallen heroes shines brightly.


Introducing an Experienced Serviceman: A Journey of Service and Resilience

Memorial Day is a solemn occasion in which we remember and honor the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the armed forces. It is a time for reflection, gratitude, and remembrance. In commemoration of this important day, we are privileged to feature the testimonial of one of our veterans, who shares their experiences of service, the significance of Memorial Day, and their journey of transitioning from military life to pursuing education.


Our featured veteran, a retired U.S. Army Specialist, provides valuable insights into their background and military service. As a first-generation immigrant from Colombia, he brings a multicultural perspective and is fluent in both Spanish and English. His military service spanned from May 2011 to November 2016, during which he performed various roles, including supporting maintenance for ground vehicles and contributing to technical manuals for repairs and maintenance.


His military background has shaped his identity, instilling discipline, and resilience to pursue his goals. Despite facing challenges, including permanent disabilities and medical treatments, he remained determined to complete his college education with the support of their family, the VA, and Army friends. His multicultural and multilingual background has influenced his educational journey, providing him with a unique perspective on embracing language diversity and cultural understanding.


Background and Service. From Civilian to Serviceman: Embarking on a Journey of Patriotism

Our featured veteran embarked on his journey of service driven by a deep sense of patriotism and a desire to protect and defend this nation. Coming from Colombia as a first-generation immigrant, his dedication to learning the language and pursuing education led him to explore the opportunities provided by the U.S. Army. "When I came to the United States, my objective was to learn the language and return to Colombia to continue my college education in the field of computer science," he explains. However, his experiences in the U.S. and a chance encounter with a Hispanic U.S. Army soldier changed his trajectory. He fell in love with the country, decided to continue his college education there, and made the commitment to serve in the Army.


Adjusting his immigration status as a resident, he faced financial challenges in affording college. It was during this time that he met a U.S. Army soldier who visited New York City with his family. Impressed by the soldier's happiness and success, he inquired about the Army and learned about the opportunity for the Army to pay for his college education. This encounter became a turning point in his life. He recalls, "After that day, I knew what my next steps had to be in order to accomplish my goals. I started inquiring about joining the Army and visited the recruiting station in Times Square." Despite initially struggling with the ASVAB test due to his limited English proficiency, his determination pushed him to study tirelessly, and he eventually passed the test with flying colors. Serving in the U.S. Army for approximately 5.5 years, His journey is a testament to his unwavering dedication and the transformative power of seizing opportunities.


While soldiers in active duty often face the challenge of being stationed far away from home, holidays can be particularly difficult as they miss out on important family celebrations. He, being from a different cultural background, gained a unique perspective on cherishing time spent with loved ones. "For me, being a soldier from a different cultural background, I learned to appreciate the quality time I spent and shared with my friends and family, even if it was not during the holidays," he reflects. His advice to fellow soldiers is to make the most of the time they can spend with their loved ones. His journey, rooted in a sense of patriotism and driven by a pursuit of education and dreams, serves as an inspiration to others who face obstacles and seek to make a meaningful impact in their lives and communities.


Samoan fire knife dance, or Siva Afi, is a traditional Samoan dance that involves the use of a sharp knife or “ailao afi.”

Reflections and Meaning Behind Memorial Day: A Day of Remembrance

Memorial Day holds profound personal significance for our Retired US Army Specialist, who deeply reflects on the sacrifices made by his comrades and national heroes. "Memorial Day is a time to reflect and think about the battle buddies that paid the ultimate price and are no longer among us," he shares. He carries a deep sense of respect for those who have given their all to ensure that the United States remains the land of the free. This includes not only his fallen comrades but also the countless national heroes who have dedicated themselves to serving in the military.


Our retired veteran personally honors and remembers two individuals whom he had the honor to serve with but tragically lost. These friends and brothers in arms left this world at a young age, leaving behind grieving families. During his time in active duty, it became a tradition for them to observe a moment of silence as Memorial Day approached. These solemn moments served as a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice made by these brave individuals and the countless others who have selflessly given their lives in service to their country.


As Memorial Day approaches each year, his memories intertwine with the collective remembrance of all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. He cherishes the opportunity to pay his respects and honor their memory, ensuring their legacy lives on. Memorial Day serves as a powerful reminder of the valor and dedication exhibited by these brave men and women, who stood up and volunteered to serve in the military, safeguarding the freedoms enjoyed by the American people. It is through their sacrifice that the United States continues to be the land of the free, and the retired specialist carries their memory and the spirit of Memorial Day with him always.


Challenges and Growth. Overcoming Obstacles: Life as a Veteran Student

Navigating the transition from military life to civilian life and education posed distinctive challenges and adjustments for our featured veteran. Despite facing permanent disabilities, he remained resolute in his pursuit of education, recognizing it as a means to overcome employment obstacles and adapt his skill sets to fit flexible roles. His military background played a significant role in shaping his educational journey, fostering personal growth and development.


"Completing my college education was always one of my goals," the veteran shares. However, the presence of permanent disabilities presented additional challenges when it came to finding regular employment. Undeterred by these obstacles, he embarked on a journey to tailor his skills and abilities to fit employment roles that offered flexibility and accommodated his unique circumstances. This led him to explore opportunities that allowed him to work from home, aligning with his passions for helping others and engaging in discussions related to numbers, budgeting, and savings plans.


By leveraging his military experiences and transferable skills, the veteran was able to adapt and find fulfillment in a career path that accommodated his abilities and provided him with the flexibility he needed. His determination to succeed in the face of challenges exemplifies his resilience and tenacity.


Through his educational pursuits, our featured veteran experienced personal growth and development, with his military background serving as a guiding force. The values instilled in him during his service, such as discipline, adaptability, and perseverance, carried over into his academic endeavors. These qualities not only enabled him to overcome obstacles but also shaped his approach to learning and problem-solving.


His educational journey became a transformative experience, as he discovered new avenues for personal and professional growth. By embracing the opportunities presented to him, he was able to navigate the transition from military to civilian life with resilience and determination, proving that with the right mindset and a willingness to adapt, one can overcome challenges and achieve their goals. His story serves as an inspiration to others facing similar circumstances, showing them that with perseverance and a focus on personal development, they too can overcome obstacles and find fulfillment in their post-military lives.


A map depicting the Asian continent.

Embracing Multilingualism and Celebrating Multiculturalism in Honor of Memorial Day

This Memorial Day, we honor our fallen servicemen and women while recognizing the profound connection between their sacrifices and our mission at ReDefiners World Languages. Our goal is to empower individuals in the U.S. to become multilingual global citizens, embracing the richness of multiculturalism. Through the testimonials of our veterans, we witness the transformative power of language and cultural diversity in shaping lives and communities.


Our veterans' stories highlight the bonds formed with diverse fellow service members, emphasizing the value of embracing multilingualism and celebrating multiculturalism. They demonstrate how language and cultural diversity enrich our communities and strengthen our nation. By supporting our mission, donors and partners contribute to empowering individuals, fostering cultural understanding, and cherishing language diversity.


On Memorial Day, we honor the fallen, their commitment to our nation, and the principles of freedom and diversity. It serves as a powerful reminder to nurture a society where individuals engage with multiple languages and cultures. Let us remember them with reverence, fostering an appreciation for multilingualism and celebrating multiculturalism. Together, we promote language diversity and cultivate a society where all cultures are valued and respected. Join us in honoring the fallen and embracing language diversity as global citizens.


Visit our website www.redefinerswl.com or email us at info@redefinerswl.org for more information about ReDefiners World Languages.

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Oct 16, 2023

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