Speech Given at the First Annual Veterans Dinner at Finger Lakes Community College

A year ago I had the honor of being the first speaker at a dinner honoring veterans at our local college.  As we approach Veterans Day this coming week, I share my talk again — it is good to remind folks of the sacrifices we made and remember those who mentored us.

An American Family

Remarks by  Lt Col John E. Norvell (USAF Ret.)  November 10, 2017

President Nye, Dr. Pierce, ladies and gentleman and members of the College community,  thank you for inviting me to speak tonight.

As a former history professor I routinely lectured for 50 minutes so I asked President Nye how long I should talk – He Said SHORTER ….

In 1966, I was commissioned a Second Lieutenant.

Now admit it some of you may be thinking – , oh great another OLD VET talking about ancient history. And you know what, I probably thought the same thing in 1965 when they trotted out an old veteran to speak to our ROTC class, and I suspect that guy thought the same thing when a veteran from a previous war talked to him.

To be honest, the name of that Vet who spoke to me is long gone. And I suspect that…

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About jenorv

John E. Norvell is a retired Air Force Lt Colonel, decorated air combat veteran of the Vietnam War, and former Assistant Professor of American and Military History at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He has written freelance for the Washington Post, the Middle Tennessee Journal of Genealogy and History, and for several newspapers around the country.
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2 Responses to Speech Given at the First Annual Veterans Dinner at Finger Lakes Community College

  1. JL Mutolo says:


    Thoughtful words well-spoken are always worth repeating. Thanks for them.

    Last month we were visiting D&K in the UK. We had the opportunity to attend a Homecoming of six crews that were returning from their six-month downrange assignment. (Dave (Solo) is the guy in the fancy Welcome Home shirt.) They are stateside now at Maxwell for SOS and to Columbus after Christmas.

    Best regards,


  2. jenorv says:

    Hope they are enjoying being home, as Dorothy says, there’s no place like it. When I came back from SEA I was ready to kiss the ground. John

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