Veterans move our country forward

As we continue to see unrest in the world, we should reflect on how our country might be affected if military recruiting numbers continue to suffer. The most recent reports from our Armed Services have been concerning.

The Army, Navy and Air Force all fell short of their recruiting targets. The Air Force had its worst recruiting outcome since 1999.

The Pentagon is evaluating the barriers to service. I hope the military doesn’t start watering down its requirements to join the military, but they need to figure things out. To preserve the capacity to protect our country’s ideals through military supremacy, we still need “the few, the proud” to “be all you can be.”

There is a major focus these days on post-secondary education, but it seems to be lost on young folks that military service could be another path to success in career and life, especially if a young person has entrepreneurial aspirations.

The digital age has been particularly good to veterans who served in the Special Forces.

Mark Nutsch, a son of Washington County, Kansas, was Army Special Forces and is a poster child for using the skills developed as a Green Beret to become a serial entrepreneur.

Since his service, he has been involved in all kinds of entrepreneurial activities, from starting a distillery, writing books, and becoming a highly-sought-after speaker on the leadership circuit.

Having listened to him talk about being tasked with resolving issues in complex operations in Afghanistan, especially in unconventional warfare settings, it is no surprise he and his cohorts have been able to find their way in so many other enterprises.

It’s almost like joining the special forces in our United States military is the equivalent of getting an MBA. Not only do our veterans protect our country, they help move our country forward. They are entrepreneurs, creators, digital influencers, manufacturers and they also serve well as elected officials who have background experience on the other side of America’s foreign policy initiatives.

Enough with Hollywood celebrities and TikTok influencers. Spend a little time on YouTube and you’ll find many former Seals, Green Berets, Rangers, and others who are now doing all kinds of amazing things.

Our country and culture would be better served if they would give the same sort of attention to military veterans.

Dan Thalmann is the owner/publisher of the Washington County News and is a Past President of the Kansas Press Association. He has won numerous journalism awards in many categories over the years, including multiple awards as the best mid-sized weekly newspaper in Kansas.