On Veterans Day, we pause to honor and commemorate our nation's military — those who have bravely served our nation to protect our freedoms. Austin Community College District (ACC) would like to thank our veterans for their selfless service. The college is honored that more than 150 veterans have chosen to work at ACC. We asked a few of them about their service and what Veterans Day means to them.
Meet Hillary Ray Smith, ACC veteran outreach specialist II who has been with the college for nine years.
What does Veterans Day mean to you?
On Veterans Day, we get to honor our men and women who gave their lives, the ultimate sacrifice, for this country. Also, to appreciate the ones that have served their country unselfishly.
Which branch of the military did you serve in?
U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserves, and Texas National Guard
What is/was your rank and/or position(s)?
SSG/E-6, S4 NCOIC Logistics (Supply)
When were your years of service?
1981-1984 Active duty, U.S. Army; 1984-1998 U.S. Army Reserves, and 2001-2005 Texas Army National Guard and Texas National Guard (Deployment 2005-2009).
Where did you serve?
Ft. Lewis, Washington; Ft. Ord, California; Vilchek, Germany; and Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo.
Why did you choose to serve in the military?
My entire family served in the Military and I followed the tradition.
How did the skills you learned in the military translate into your life and career afterward?
Being able to relate to service members and their struggles in life. Because I grew up in the 1960s civil rights era, I was taught that you treated people with respect based on their individuality and not the color of their skin. I always treated people the way I wanted to be treated. Therefore, I also wouldn't ask them to do something I haven't done myself!
What do you want people to know about our military?
It is a great place for a young person to learn structure and responsibility. It will also allow them to travel, receive a good college education, and to be a part of a great team!