Column: What serving means to me

Submitted by Staff Sgt. Andrew Mauck, recruiter

SSG Mauck re-enlisting while flying in a UH-60 Blackhawk during deployment to the Middle East.

“Thank you for your service.” As a U.S. Army soldier living in Fluvanna County, I am grateful for these words, which I hear often when wearing my uniform in this community.

What many people do not understand is that I am the one who is thankful.

I am thankful for the camaraderie, the global understanding, the commitment made to me and my family, and the opportunity to dedicate every day to the people of this country.

I am thankful for the education and cost-free healthcare I receive, the worldwide experiences I have had, the technical skills I have learned, and the opportunity to be a leader in the most trusted organization in the nation.

I am thankful to be part of history. This week the Army celebrates 244 years of dedicated service. Generations of soldiers have inspired professionalism, honorable service and a commitment to the common good. For this, I am proud to call myself a soldier, and proud to be part of the team inspiring the next great generation of soldiers to find their place in history.

Americans have the highest level of confidence in the U.S. military, yet 50 percent of today’s youth admit they only know a little about their nation’s military – the people who work daily to protect their freedom. They don’t understand the depth of the knowledge and technical skills they can learn in 150 different career paths such as special operations, engineering, aviation, logistics, nursing, intelligence, auto mechanics and cyber. They don’t understand the degrees they can earn or that the benefits and perks often match or surpass those offered by civilian employers.

My Army story began in 2010 when I joined as an infantryman. The Army has taken my family and me to Colorado, Georgia and Fluvanna County with two deployments to Afghanistan and the Middle East. It’s been a wonderful nine years to date, with my experiences taking me across the globe, to over 15 countries, and earning a bachelor’s degree from Liberty University. Next to my beautiful wife and two children, it is certainly the best decision of my life. I am a better person because of the U.S. Army and the people I have met throughout my career.

My Army story is not unique. In the Fluvanna area alone, we have dozens of highly accomplished soldiers, each with best-of-industry training in their jobs, many layers of advanced education, and a portfolio of experiences traveling and working across the world.

I see amazing young people in our area desiring to serve their communities, and I believe we are doing them a disservice if we are not encouraging them to explore the military as a potential career path.

The Army invests in its people, often to the benefit of outside organizations. Veterans are more likely to vote, volunteer and be involved in their communities. They have the maturity and self-discipline private industries are seeking, and we need your help finding the right people to serve.

In honor of the 75th anniversary of D-Day on June 6, and the Army’s 244th birthday on June 14, the Army is activating a nationwide call to service. We encourage parents, educators and leaders throughout the community to inspire our talented youth to be part of something bigger and engrave their name in our history.

Staff Sgt. Andrew Mauck is a recruiter from the U.S. Army Recruiting Station, Richmond, which is responsible for hiring new soldiers in Fluvanna County. To learn more about the local recruiting team, visit

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