Life after service: What Memorial Day means to this veteran student

Willie the Wildcat celebrates a touchdown for the Kansas State Wildcats at the home game against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Nov. 11, 2017. (Olivia Bergmeier | Collegian Media Group)

In the United States Army, there are different units that many veterans operated within while in the military. From fireteams to brigades, many veterans served our country fighting along other enlisted persons.

Robert Landry, graduate student in business administration, served his time as an E-4 specialist in a battalion unit of the Army.

Landry, now in his civilian life, studies towards his master’s in business administration and said he commonly visits the Veterans Affairs Office at the K-State Student Union.

Memorial Day is the United States holiday for remembrance of those who have fallen while serving in the U.S. armed forces. Landry celebrates Memorial Day in this fashion.

“Memorial Day, to me, is having the opportunity to think about those and reflect on the fallen, those who didn’t make it back home,” Landry said.

Landry’s family has many individuals who served in the Army.

“It’s kind of one of those deals where everybody in my family participated in the Army, for me personally, my grandfather on both sides, my father, uncles, my brother and myself,” Landry said.

Landry began his journey in the Army serving in the infantry. It was his background training before arriving at Fort Riley, where he participated in operations at the battalion level.

For Landry, the Independence Day tends to be the larger celebration, while Memorial Day he celebrates through remembrance of those who have fallen while serving, from today’s special forces to “The Old Guard,” the United States’ third regiment, according to the Army’s Old Guard information webpage.

“For Memorial Day, it’s more of a lower-key event for me personally,” Landry said. “I just reflect on history, on those that came before me, those that were called upon. As the name Memorial Day goes, those who didn’t make it back and made the ultimate sacrifice.”