A Veteran of Honoring Veterans

Jim Callan shows cadets veteran memorabilia

Veterans Day 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I. The temporary cessation of hostilities occurred on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. For Jim Callan and those at the Academy who take his lead, honoring veterans could come on any hour of any day of the year.

Callan, a Norwich University graduate who works for Follett Corp at the MMA Bookstore, is constantly emphasizing the importance of remembering veterans. On display there are medals and memorabilia from his father, who fought in World War II.

“Only two things that I ask the cadets. When you make a mistake, own it, and when you get out, go serve in some way,” says Callan, whose numerous volunteering duties includes urging the freshman cadets on from his jeep during their early morning runs.

“I get them thinking about people who have sacrificed for them.”

Last year, as part of his bookstore project, “Say Thank You to a Veteran”, cadets sent holiday cards to 2017 MMA graduate 2nd LT Kyle Downing and everyone in his company who were serving in South Korea.  “He said he was just so proud of what Massachusetts Maritime did for him and his troops,” Callan said.

This year, cadets have reached out to the Wareham/New Bedford Elks Club, sending thank you cards to anyone there who served in the Armed Forces.

“The response has just been so tremendous,” said Callan. “People have written back about being so overwhelmed that someone has taken the time to thanks them. The relationship that the academy has with the community is really strong.”

In the week leading up to Veterans Day, cadets will place flags at the graves of veterans at the National Cemetery in Bourne. Members of the Elks Club will join the cadets in a ceremony there on November 11. “We just don’t want anyone to ever be forgotten,” Callan says.

By the looks of it, everyone at the Academy is doing their part.