Life of a Brave: On this Veterans Day, St. John Bosco Commemorates Those who Served In the United States Military

by Oscar Aranda

With today being Veterans Day, citizens across the United States take time off to reflect on those who have served or are serving in the U.S. Military. St. John Bosco takes this day to remember those from the Bosco community who have served, as well as those who have served from all over the nation.

Veterans Day is the day that originally honored the end of World War 1, then was called Armistice Day until it was changed in 1954. Now Veterans Day has evolved into a day in which the U.S. citizens can also recognize those who have served and those who have fallen victim to any Wars throughout the country’s history. The country celebrates this honorable day on November 11th of every year, and the United states recognizes Veterans Day as a federal holiday.

Veterans day became a national holiday on May 13, 1938, though it was first observed by congress in 1926 as Armistice Day. Armistice Day was the celebration of the end of world war 1 and was correlated with the peace that came with the end of said war.

Within the St. John Bosco (Bosco) community, there are many men and women who have served, or are currently serving in the military. They do a significant amount and sacrifice a great deal in order to protect, serve and keep this country safe.

Marie James- Garcia, aunt of Carlos Garcia (Bosco 22’), served the country in the United States Army and was stationed in Ft Hunter Liggett, Ca. Her interest in serving came at an early age due to possibly watching too much M*A*S*H.  This was complemented by her fearless attitude that translated well into the rigors of the army. She ended her duties in 1984 and very much enjoyed her time in service.

“I shot expert with an M16, threw expert with the grenade… but I am not a speed runner,” Marie said.

Another veteran that has done his part in keeping the country safe is Hector Ayala, father of Mark Ayala (Bosco 23’). Hector Served the country in the United States Marine Corps as a Sergeant 0331- Machine- Gunner. He joined the Marine Corps to challenge himself and to be part of an institution with a great lineage and history. Though, it was his pride and appreciation for our country that compelled him to serve longer than his four years during war time. Mr. Ayala was able to find a sense of brotherhood in the Marine Corps, and was honorably discharged in 2009 after serving for eight years.

“Veterans day to me represents an opportunity for our nation to thank those who have served this country. Despite being a veteran we take the time to honor those who fought in previous wars,” said Mr. Ayala.

Francisco Javier Valles, uncle to Omar Sanchez (Bosco 22’), served in the United States Marine Corps from 2005 to 2013. The events that occurred on September 11, 2001 drove Mr. Valles to join the military as soon as he was of age, which allowed him to take part in fighting terrorism, which was a important issue to Mr. Valles. Mr. Valles was deployed two times during his service, once in Iraq and once in Afghanistan. He mentions that the military life is vigorous, though it is worth it in order to be among some of the greatest men and women in the USA. 

“Every time you leave it is hard, but it is worth it knowing that you are keeping your country safe,” said Mr. Valles.

As the years go by, and more alumni serve in the military, the Bosco community continues to celebrate the men and women who have served our country, both nation wide and those within the Bosco community. With everything that they have done, the least the citizens can do is thank all the men and women who have served this country.

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