Veterans in the NYU community tell us what service means to them.
Beginning in 1918, Armistice Day was celebrated each year on the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" to signal the official cessation of hostilities between the Allies of World War I and Germany. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued a proclamation renaming the occasion as Veterans Day, so that the country would pause each November 11 to honor all who have served throughout our nation’s history.
“On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting and enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain,” Eisenhower said.
NYU is committed to providing veterans with a variety of tools and resources. In 2016, the University announced an effort to close the gap for undergrads by nearly tripling—from $3,500 to $10,000—our contributions to the Yellow Ribbon grants, which are matched by the Department of Veterans Affairs. School-based scholarships across NYU, such as Silver’s Schultz Fellowship, GSAS’s Advanced Civil School Award, and Wagner’s Military Service Scholarship, among others, provide additional access to degrees. Through other VA benefits, NYU events, and leadership opportunities—including a Military Alliance Community Center within the NYU Center for Student Life, and the NYU Veterans and Military Resource Center in the School of Professional Studies—NYU has become a destination for more and more students who are returning from service.
We thank our many faculty, students, and administrators profoundly for their service. Below, in their own words, are just some of their stories.
U.S. Army; Fort Carson, Colorado
Role: I have served in the United States Army, 4th Infantry Division, for a total of four years since my entry in 2009 to 2014, and one year in the army reserve. I’ve supported Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan from May 2011–May 2012. Also, I’ve also received direct and indirect enemy contact while on foot patrol in a team leader position, and reacted in order to deter the threat. Because of the successful outcome, I received the Combat Infantryman Badge, awarded December 28, 2011, in Kandahar, Afghanistan, as well as an Army Commendation Medal and Army Achievement Medal.
What serving means to me:
"Never let the walls of fear prevent or oppress your goals in life. Let the courage that lives inside you confront it and break through despite how hard these obstacles may seem." My quote describes the courage the military helped me build as a person, let alone a student. The countless hours, weeks, months of training, including a one-year deployment in Kandahar, created the tenacity I needed to confront my enormous obstacle: acquiring a college degree. Therefore, what serving in the military means to me is the courage to confront my fears.
Public Safety Officer
U.S. Navy petty officer 3rd class; 1982–1987; Bethesda Naval Hospital, Portsmouth Naval Hospital, Balboa Naval Hospital, Camp LeJeune, North Carolina
Role: I was a hospital corpsman and a battleground medic. My duties included taking care of patients in a hospital setting and serving with marines as a battleground medic.
What serving means to me: Serving in the military was a sense of pride and tradition. My dad and my Uncle John had both served and were inspirations for me to follow in their footsteps. My dad served during Korea and my Uncle John was a medic during Vietnam. I am and always will be proud of my service.
Maki Thomas Livesay
U.S. Air Force; 1995–1999 and 2002–2018; Pentagon, Cheyenne Air National Guard Base, Tyndall Air Force Base, McChord Air Force Base, Tinker Air Force Base, McConnell Air Force Base
Role: I served as an E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System air battle manager and combat operator (deploying to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Japan in support of United Nations resolutions), as a force support squadron commander, and as a Joint Staff action officer.
What serving means to me: I am honored to have served in the military and to learn the meaning of friendship, professionalism, a commitment to do my best, and to support and respect each other. It's about service; my twin sister and brother-in-law also served. Also, it meant the privilege of serving my nation and all of her people.
Allen M. McFarlane
Assistant Vice President, Outreach and Engagement, Division of Student Affairs
U.S. Air Force sergeant; 1977–1981; Langley Air Force Base, Tactical Air Command, Hampton, Virginia
Role: I served as a sergeant at Langley Air Force Base Hospital in Hampton, Virginia. The base is now called Joint Base Langley-Eustis. My duties covered a wide range of medical administration, from hospital census reports, airman and pilot medical administration support to handling family interviews for birth/death certificates. Langley Air Force Base scrambled the F-15 Eagle jet fighters to New York City on 9/11.
What serving means to me: My cherished military service remains a foundation that defines what it means to be a professional with unwavering integrity and dedication in the face of all obstacles and adversaries.
Terence P. Moran:
Professor Emeritus, Media Ecology
U.S. Marine Corps sergeant; 1955-1959 (Regular), 1959-1961 (Reserve); Parris Island, South Carolina; Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; Quantico, Virginia
Role: Rifleman/Combat Draftsman-Illustrator.
What serving means to me: Simply stated, the United States Marine Corps provided the foundation for the rest of my life as a student and professor at New York University (1960–2017). As we say in the Corps, “Once a Marine, always a Marine.” Semper Fidelis.
U.S. Army captain; 2013–2017; Fort Carson, Colorado
Role: I was a transportation officer in a truck company, so my unit’s job was basically to be the army’s version of UPS, except focused on moving tanks, ammunition, and other supplies. When we deployed, we provided logistics support to other military units as they moved in and out of theater.
What serving means to me: I was a third-generation military officer, so joining the army was really a chance to be a part of my family’s history of service. My time in the army was an incredibly formative experience, and I know I will use what I learned while serving every day for the rest of my life.
U.S. Marine Corps sergeant; 2012–2016; Camp Pendleton, California
Role: I worked as a combat correspondent and broadcast journalist, where my main duty was to capture photo and video of Marine Corps operations for both internal and external use. However, throughout my service, I was mainly employed to capture multinational operations, specifically the interoperability of the Marine Corps with other international forces.
What serving means to me: The simple concept of service in itself was a revelation for me, a much different mindset than the one I had prior to joining. I learned that service is a productive state of mind that can greatly benefit both the service members with whom I served and the everyday civilian with whom I now interact on a daily basis. My goal since is to first seek to understand a problem, situation, or person and then facilitate in any way I can.
U.S. Army specialist; 2010–2018; Fort Drum 10th Mountain Division
Role: Aside from my primary job of infantry, I specialized in diesel mechanics. The wheeled vehicle mechanic supervises and performs field and sustainment level maintenance as well as recovery operations on light and heavy wheeled vehicles, their associated trailers, armored vehicles, and material handling equipment.
What serving means to me: Serving my country was an inflection point—it set my life on a new course. Now a disabled veteran, I find myself in a constant pursuit of re-attaining the meaningfulness of those eight years, chasing the feeling I had when my profession involved working in challenging conditions with teams of great people to solve big problems whose scope exceeded personal gain.
Serving my country means that I gave up the normal progression of my life—high school, college, work—to do something whose end was civic. The same could be said for the veterans of many other types of national service.
Marcos S. Tapia
U.S. Air Force senior airman; 2008–2013; Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, Andersen A.F.B., McGuire A.F.B., New Jersey
Role: In 2011, I became a physical training leader. This meant that I would make sure everyone was physically ready to deploy. Those who weren't in shape I would work with on a one-on-one or a group basis to get them up to speed. Overall in my career, I went from being an apprentice to leading small groups of people.
What serving means to me: Serving in the United States Air Force had and still has a huge impact on my life. I was not born in this country, and growing up I did not have much, so when I joined the military this meant to me a new chance to reshape the path I was given. It was in the Air Force that I found a new family. I met so many great people throughout my short time in the military, sadly some are no longer with us anymore, but some I still communicate with on a regular basis.
I joined the military in 2008 not being aware of my potential or what I could contribute to society. Now, after transitioning back to civilian life and completing undergraduate school, I've started my studies in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Steinhardt. The military and my fellow veterans are my home, my family, and my pride.