WESTVILLE | A high ranking member of the U.S. military challenged all Americans Monday to reach out and help veterans transitioning from war back to society.
Rear Adm. Jeffrey Harbeson gave the keynote speech at the annual Veterans Day ceremony that was attended by more than 100 people in the Library-Student-Faculty building at Purdue North Central.
He said the sacrifices by veterans, what they've experienced on the battlefields along with their commitment to duty and work ethic, form the country's foundation.
Therefore, doors should be opened for returning veterans who simply want to continue serving in their civilian lives and satisfy a desire for personal challenge.
''Find them. Thank them for their service and welcome them back,'' said Harbeson, a staff officer for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and deputy director for politico-military affairs for Europe, NATO and Russia.
Harbeson also challenged Americans to "pause and reflect" on soldiers who gave their lives through unimaginable acts of bravery.
"It reminds all of us why we have the greatest military in the world and makes you proud to be an American," said Harbeson.
PNC Chancellor Jim Dworkin credited LaPorte Mayor Blair Milo, a veteran of the Navy, for bringing Harbeson to the campus.
Milo, who considered Harbeson a mentor during her time of duty, is on a committee responsible for putting together events on the campus to honor and serve veterans.