“I enlisted in the military because at the time I didn’t have an idea of what I wanted to do with my life and as a young boy it had always been a goal to serve in the military. I remember 9/11 and was deeply affected, but was not driven by this desire to seek justice. I just knew I could do something more than I was at the time, and the military offered me that opportunity.
There’s a lot of similarities between the military and lacrosse. Lacrosse has a strong sense of teamwork, if you aren’t able to work with the weakest member as the strongest than you will not help the team win. One player can be an incredible force on the field just like in war but without strong leadership and good teamwork he will not be able to win it on his own or for the team.
Since returning home, playing lacrosse in men’s league and college club have helped me adjust to civilian ways of dealing with matters and how sometimes tact is necessary for the situation. They have also helped me adapt to the social environment which isn’t the same as in the military where it can be pretty straightforward.
I’ve really enjoyed playing in the Shootout for Soldiers, it’s an awesome event and when I first heard about it I knew it was something I wanted to do. Playing in it each time is so
much fun and the brotherhood during the Veterans Game is incredible. The event itself helps bring veterans back into the community and it’s become an event that I’m willing to travel to great lengths to make.
One of the things that some civilians don’t understand about veterans is that we are normal people too, with normal problems – we just tend to have a lot more direct approach to problem solving. Veterans Day is a time to pay respects and remember brothers and sisters lost who we can no longer talk to, and on some level about getting recognition for serving. We remember those we served next to each day, Veterans Day just happens to be the nation’s way of honoring those who serve.”
– Matthew Raymond, U.S. Army
A Quick Note:
In the week leading up to Veterans Day (Nov. 11th), we will be sharing the stories of veterans who have played in the Shootout for Soldiers. Our hope is that these stories will cut through the one-day patriotism, big-box retail sales and hollow rhetoric that dominates Veterans Day, and instead shares the stories of our veterans from our veterans. A special thanks goes to all of the veterans who have graciously shared their stories with us.