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Voices of Evanston Veterans

John Graf, William Green and Jack Jadel share their perspectives on life in the U.S. military.

Today is Veteran’s Day, which, to many school-age children, is simply a "get-out-of-jail-free" card.

These days, with so many videogames portraying military combat as a realistic game stamped with a “mature” rating, I'd hoped to connect a human face with the Veteran's Day holiday for those children who might not otherwise have a clue about why they have a day off from school.

However, I must confess: I’m one of those parents who’s allowed her children to play videogames with war themes. I opened that floodgate years ago and continue to watch how much more realistic, bloody, violent and addictive the games have become. I’m not proud of having opened that door, and to assuage my guilt, I looked forward to interviewing some real-life war veterans here in Evanston at The Mather.

Before I went, I asked my 8-year-old son to pose some questions for the three gentlemen I’d be meeting. While I had my own questions in mind, I also wondered what a young child might hope to learn.

Here is my interview with William Green, John Graf and Jack Jadel, some of the nicest gentlemen I’ve ever met.

Today, more than two dozen residents of The Mather will be honored in a Veteran’s Day ceremony held in the Possibilities Room at 2:00PM.  The residents served in various branches of the armed forces and saw active duty throughout the world.

According to The Mather, “The afternoon will begin with a Commemoration and Welcome and will include songs from various military branches, as well as a Color Guard Presentation by Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 311. There will be a keynote presentation by Fred Ruben, US Army Veteran, and President of the Lake View High School Alumni Association.”

As you enjoy your Friday here in town or elsewhere, please remember the men and women who still hold the memories, the wounds, the highlights and the honor of having served in the U.S. military so that all of us may live the lives we lead today.

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