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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Why I Served: Lt. Col. Glen Shillard

Lt. Col. Glen Shillard said any form of service involves putting others before yourself and discourages a sense of entitlement.

The student at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies has been in the Air Force for 16 years. He’s been a B-52 navigator, worked in space operations and been an air liaison officer, among other jobs.

“It just gives you a sense of belonging to something greater than yourself,” he said of service.

Service, of any sort, encourages self-motivation, accountability, pride in your work and exposes you to the wider world, he said.

“You don’t get to the highest levels without thinking beyond yourself,” he said of military and civil leaders.

He said he used to think that veterans were old, but has since realized a veteran is anyone who has served.

“Veterans are these people that have served,” he said. “Maybe they only served a few years and didn’t die. They still served.”

And remembering those that have served is important and more than just a thank you.

“If you don’t look to the past, you forget where you came from,” he said. And forgetting the past often causes repeat mistakes, he said.

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I grew up in the military. Mom was an Air Force nurse for a few years, dad was a navigator on B-52s, among other things. One grandfather served in World War II, uncle is retired Navy, other grandfather and great-uncle served in Korea and a cousin is currently serving in the Marine Corps. Currently, I'm the military reporter for the Great Falls Tribune in Montana. Previously, 


As a military kids, we moved all over. As an adult, I've traveled all over and moved for work. But now, I'm putting down roots in Montana with my boyfriend. We just bought a house and are slowly but surely making it our home. We have more land that we know what to do with at the moment. Now we're getting a garden started, tearing down walls and having loads of fun at what we call the Homestead.

In a part life, I did PR for the guy who built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, social media for the National Museum of Health and Medicine, before that, edited two military technology magazines for a publishing group in the DC area and before that, I was the military reporter (among other things) at the Montgomery Advertiser, covering Maxwell Air Force Base, the Alabama National Guard, veterans and anything else military related in the area. And in between all of that, I leave town, preferably the country, whenever possible. It all started when I spent a semester in New Zealand.

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