Matthew Galloway recalls growing up in LaMoille, Ill., a small village of less than 1,000 residents located in north central Illinois.
After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the United States Navy, where he served from 2010 to 2014.
“One of the biggest reasons I joined the Navy is that I was looking for adventure – to get out of the cornfields, and to see the world,” said Galloway, president of the NIU Veterans Association. “I was looking for a way to pay for college, and joining the military was a great way to do that.”
Galloway said his uncle, David Galloway, served in the Navy for more than 20 years, which was a major influence on his decision.
“I enlisted after high school, and served as a military police officer in Hawaii,” Galloway said. “I am proud for serving my country, and definitely feel lucky to have spent my time in Hawaii. I realize not a lot of veterans got that lucky.”
Veterans Day gives the NIU community and all of the United States the opportunity to honor those who have served their country. Observances typically take place at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, because that is when World War I fighting ceased between the Allied nations and Germany in 1918.
“Veterans Day is an important day to really remember the cost of freedom and the people who protect our country,” Galloway said. “People should take time out of their day to remember those who served.”
The NIU Veterans Association is hosting a flagpole ceremony at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11, across from Altgeld Hall at the corner of Castle Drive and College Avenue. All are welcome.
Speakers will include NIU alumnus and former president of NIU’s Veterans Association Rich Bennet. Katie Bice will sing the national anthem, and Gene Vandenbosch is the featured bugler. Members of the NIU ROTC will provide the color guard and a 21-gun salute.
In addition to the flagpole ceremony, the NIU Veterans Association will host events throughout the week, including a dodgeball tournament Monday and billiards and bowling Tuesday. For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page.
by Jane Donahue