Staff Sergeant Benjamin Anderson
Veteran | 20 years in the U.S. Army
What was the biggest reason that led you to join the Military?
In 1969, I was drafted into the armed forces. This was during the Vietnam era and when young black boys were drafted into the U.S. Army. When the draft started, there really wasn’t a choice you had to join. It was according to your birthday.
What was the biggest lesson you learned in the Military?
Accountability, Responsibility, Discipline. Accountability and building Core Values Those would probably be the greatest lessons.
What is your perspective on patriotism?
That’s a challenging question during my 20 years in the Military. It was pretty radical. I am one of the individuals that are always on the fence about patriotism. My belief is that patriotism has to do with justice. In my opinion, I don’t see a lot of justice in the Military, and I certainly haven’t seen a lot of justice in my latter years. I’m proud to live in the United States as a citizen because it affords me certain opportunities. Still, yet it is challenging to be patriotic when we see people of color treated unjustly.
What was your experience transitioning from active duty to civilian life?
My transition was pretty seamless because I was visionary enough to understand that I need to get an education and skills that were going to transfer into the civilian world. While in the Army, I got my license. When It was time to retire, I just went right into working in hospitals. I ensured I’d have a job and a career once I retire.