By Leigh Rice
Each November, red, white and blue fly high in
honor and remembrance of the troops who have
served in the United States military. Some of
these veterans, including Amanda Downs, are
students at William Woods University.
Downs, a 26-year-old Marine reservist from
Columbia, Mo., joined the United States
military in August 2007. Although she is enlisted
until 2014 and spends one weekend each month
in training, she is now a junior at WWU, with
double majors in equestrian science and
management information systems.
Soldiers and Marines, like Amanda, spend
months, even years, away from their families,
sometimes in combat zones or other dangerous
situations. Despite these drawbacks, the military
offers a number of opportunities—travel,
education and a strong, undeniable bond with
the group of people with whom you serve.
Downs has traveled to North and South
Carolina; Quantico, Va.; and Okinawa, Japan.
She especially enjoyed the different culture she
experienced in Japan.
I highly recommend the military for anyone
who is thinking about joining. The military
helped me grow as a person and helped me
make a difference in the lives of others. If I could
do it all over again, I would,” Downs said. “I
don’t regret a thing.”
Leadership is one trait Downs acquired in the
military. In her last position, she was in charge of
other Marines, all of whom were younger and
fairly new to the Marine Corp.
You learn to take care of your Marines first.
Even now, I generally put myself last because I
am concerned with taking care of everyone else
first,” Downs said.
During the past five years, she has learned
many life lessons through the Marine Corps. She
learned that time management is a valuable
characteristic, and she learned how to be a
The Marines taught me to know what I want
out of life and to work hard to achieve what I
want. I’ve really learned that nothing worth
doing is easy.”
Every day, especially on Veteran’s Day, Downs
thinks it is essential to remember past and
present soldiers who have served their country.
It’s important for us to recognize those veterans
who made the ultimate sacrifice, along with their
families and the veterans who are still living,”
Downs said. “We have to remember these people
because they are the reason why we have the
chance to live the life we choose.”
Thank you to our service men and women
who have sacrificed, and continue to sacrifice,
their lives to preserve our freedom.