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Fayetteville ceremony encourages dialogue about effects of military service

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Lt. Col. Jay Davis talks with the organizers of FTCC's Veterans Day ceremony on Monday morning. Lt. Col. Jay Davis talks with the organizers of FTCC's Veterans Day ceremony on Monday morning.
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -

Fayetteville Technical Community College hosted its annual Veterans Day ceremony on Tuesday. It is tradition that began more than a decade ago.

The college's Veterans' Services Office organized the ceremony, which began with a moment of silence in honor of America's veterans. Dozens of people were gathered around the school's student gazebo as bagpipes played and the Terry Sanford High School Color Guard presented the colors.

Lt. Col. Jay Nelson made remarks that encouraged Americans to think about the sacrifices veterans have made and the lasting consequences of their service. Nelson is the commander of the Warrior Transition Battalion at Fort Bragg.

"Just as we need to have Veterans Day and acknowledge that our veterans were civilians at one time, and they're going to go back to being civilians, and that's how we recruit more troopers, we need to have this dialogue about the type of issues that you have when you're in or after you're in," Nelson said.

He explained that there are two trademark injuries suffered by recent veterans who served since 9/11. Neither is very visible he said – post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). He urged people to think about those problems in veterans, to not overlook them although they are often invisible, and to talk about them.

He also urged people to think about creating job opportunities for veterans. He said although many companies are now working to hire veterans, it is an effort that needs to continue. He would like to see long-term studies that analyze if veterans are successfully holding down jobs for extended amounts of time.

"Those are the ones who are going to stay late, get there early. They're used to doing more than one thing at once, and they're just happy to be there. They can also be a lot of fun to be around," Nelson said. "It's always nice to have someone with some stories to tell around work when you get bored."

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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