Veteran turned GRCC professor: Thank us by caring about our country

GRCC Veterans Day flags
Small American flags flap in the wind during a Veterans Day ceremony at Grand Rapids Community College. (Nov. 11, 2016)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids Community College students and staff paid silent tribute to military members on Veterans Day.

Friday morning’s ceremony included the planting of flags, a tree lighting and that moment of silence.

During his keynote address, veteran Denny Gillem explained the best way to thank military members for their service.

“Let me encourage you, care about our country. Show your care by being involved to the extent that you can. If you’re at home with five kids, you don’t have much time. You get a little older, you’ve got a little more time… one size doesn’t fit all. But care, really care. That’s how you say thank you in a practical way,” said Gillem.

Gillem is a West Point graduate. He was in active duty for 22 years, including a two-year deployment to Vietnam. Gillem’s awards include the Silver Star, five Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts.

Now, Gillem teaches American government classes at GRCC. He also hosted “Frontlines of Freedom,” a nationally-syndicated military talk radio show for nine years.