• Michelle Valigursky

We Salute Our Veterans, Service Members, and Future Military Leaders

For the past 102 years, the day of recognition that we now refer to as Veterans' Day occurs on November 11 every year in the United States "in honor of the ‘eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month’ of 1918 that signaled the end of World War I, known as Armistice Day,” according to the website History.com.

In anticipation of Veterans’ Day, the Thillen Education Foundation would like to take a moment to share thanks and gratitude for the men and women who have served, and who currently serve, our nation so proudly through active or reserve duty for the U.S. Armed Forces of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard.

“Joining a branch of our military is absolutely the right thing to do for some of our students,” said Dave Thillen, Founder of Thillen Education Foundation. “The military option offers valuable lessons in structure and discipline that will help any high school graduate for the rest of their life. It also offers specific training that will open doors for career choices after serving our country. I am proud to be a veteran.”

At Greene County High School, Master Sergeant Joe Miley guides students participating in the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC). As the program description cites, “AFJROTC objectives are to educate and train high school cadets in citizenship and life skills; promote community service; instill a sense of responsibility; and develop character, leadership, and self-discipline through education and instruction in air and space fundamentals and the Air Force’s core values of integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do.”

“Probably one of the best jobs I’ve had the past 40 years in uniform is working with high school students,” Miley said. “Many of them come into the program as 9th graders afraid of their own shadow. JROTC is the only high school program that students have complete ownership of and determine its success or failure.”

Personal progress in students throughout high school is apparent. “To see the transformation from the scared timid freshman to that senior who now is ready to take on a leadership role of teaching and nurturing younger cadets is amazing, and the best part is, I get to see this gradual but phenomenal change,” Miley added. “It’s quite a change from a freshman to a senior who may now be the Group Commander who is responsible for the morale and welfare of 60 to 70 other cadets.”

“The AFJROTC Program and its students give me so much hope in our future leaders and their ability to push America forward and keep our place in the world as a country to envy and respect,” Miley said. “I try to leave my cadets with this thought: ‘To give up is to lose, so be a winner and always align yourself with winners and you will be in good company’.”

The AFJROTC Color Guard at Maxey's Veterans' Park.

Scholarships for Future Military Personnel

Did you know that Thillen Education Foundation honors its scholarship commitment to students participating in the ongoing coaching program who defer advanced education for military service?

As our website explains, “If a student enlists in military service before advanced learning or beginning their career, professional supplies funding is available to support basic training required purchases. Or, funding may be held for a total of six years on behalf of the student until he or she enrolls in a qualified advanced learning program or submits a request for additional career-related professional supplies.”

Read more about how scholarships are earned and distributed on behalf of students engaged in the Thillen Education Foundation coaching program.

The Thillen Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization registered in the state of Georgia.

Email: info@thilleneducationfoundation.com

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