Veterans Teaching Veterans

Whenever Dr. Michael Bolton has veterans or members of the military in one of his criminal justice classes, he always recognizes them and asks them to stand.

“The students applaud and thank them for their service,” Bolton says.

A Navy veteran who served in our nation’s submarine force, Bolton remembers times when Americans in uniform weren’t always received as warmly. But he and other Marymount University faculty members, students and staff make sure veterans know their service is appreciated.

“In many instances our veterans serve as role models for younger students,” Bolton says. “Most are very serious about their studies, seem to be very eager to absorb the information and join in the discussions. I’m pleased to have them in class.”

The former Arlington police officer understands what serving in the military can do for young men and women.

“I went into the Navy at a very young age and got grounded very quickly,” he says. “It made me appreciate many things in life that I had taken for granted. My experience in both the service and law enforcement gives me a greater appreciation for the good things that we have in this country. Conversely, it also gives me a perspective on how many unfortunate people in this and other countries suffer in ways we can’t imagine.”

Gratitude toward veterans extends beyond campus. Bolton says he was recently in a local restaurant when a patron picked up the tab of a service member.

Bolton, an advisor to Marymount’s Student Veterans of America, says the group is always looking for ways to better serve student veterans, who often work full-time jobs while attending the University. He urges them to contact the organization by email.