Photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane

I’m not going to pretend to be an American hero. That title is reserved for others who have achieved far more important feats than me. So when care packages and letters came in this holiday season, I scoffed at the “Thank you, hero” message that often accompanied these things. The sentiment, though nice, is unnecessary.

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Photo by Louisiana Army and Air National Guard

Traditionally, the enlisted military member average ranged between 18 and 24 years old, with little-to-no career or higher education background. But due to a changing economic landscape, the pool of qualified recruits entering the enlisted United States military now ranges from 18-year-old high school graduates to 35-year-olds with doctorates in music. This change in the enlistment age definitely fosters a larger pool of America’s “best and brightest” service members, but the contrast from historical trends is still a new and evolving development in community, work center and supervisory relationships.

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