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Volume 9, Issue 1                                    University of Houston

Air Force official praises UH cadets

Breaking News

One of the U.S. Air Force’s top officials Wednesday praised cadets from the UH Air Force ROTC and local area high schools for their service commitments.

General Paul V. Hester, one of 12 four-star generals in the Air Force and commander of Pacific Air Forces, spoke to cadets in the Lyndall Finley Wortham Theatre during his two-day visit to Houston.

 “Volunteerism is the engine that makes America run,” Hester said. “Thank you to each and every one of you who have decided to put on a uniform, whether it’s in high school or whether it’s in college.”

During World War II, one in 20 people were in the armed forces. Today, approximately one in 135 people are involved in the military, he said.

Air Force cadets

General Paul V. Hester lectures Air Force ROTC cadets on the merits of military service and experiencing foreign cultures. Hester is one of 12 four-star generals in the U.S. Air Force.
Matt Campbell/Breaking News

“You can see that the percentage of the number of people who are volunteering to be part of the service has dwindled,” Hester said.

Those volunteering for service are fine citizens because of their willingness to make sacrifices for the benefit of the nation, he said.

Hester said he views military service for any length of time as an opportunity for personal growth.

 “There are clearly valuable lessons, parts of life to learn apart of being in the difficult program of the ROTC,” he said. “For whatever amount of time you offer your life for a life of service … you will have rich rewards.”

For Hester, who is from a town in rural Mississippi, part of the appeal of joining the Air Force was the opportunity to visit and learn about other locales outside the United States.

“I believe that we as Americans have gotten too comfortable … and missed an opportunity. My generation missed a wonderful opportunity (to learn about other cultures),” Hester said. “My encouragement to you is to learn the intricacies of someone else’s culture, to enrich your life all for an opportunity of growth.”

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