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Veterans Day 2009

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Today is Veterans Day, a day on which we should all pause to consider the sacrifices made by those in our armed services. Last year I posted an article detailing the history of Veterans Day and I encourage you to take a look at that article to find that information.

This year, I thought it appropriate to take a somewhat different approach in writing about this holiday. As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan rage on, we civilians rest peacefully each night knowing that we are safer because our military is engaged in containing the area of the world where Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations can plan their attacks against people who believe in democracy, equality, and personal freedoms. Our founder, Jim Etter, served in the Marines for 27 years. Many of our faculty and staff served as well. In additionally, approximately 80 percent of our student population is active duty or veterans and we are proud to serve so many of our nation’s heroes.

I recently read an article written by one of APUS’ alums, Brian Hawthorne, who is a veteran and currently a senior at George Washington University. The article details changes in the public’s attitude toward veterans as they returned home from various wars. Brian points out that after World War II, troops returned home to “yellow ribbons, a GI Bill of Rights and the open arms of their communities.” Perhaps due to the divisive nature of the Vietnam War, however, troops returned home from that war to a dramatically different reception. There were few to no yellow ribbons or parades and some returning troops met outright hostility.

Indeed, the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have created tension among the American public. In a room full of twenty people, one will likely encounter ten who support these efforts and ten who do not; without question, there will likely be twenty different opinions on the best way to move forward in those nations. Regardless of one’s political opinion regarding the current efforts in either nation, I hope that no one loses sight of the fact that those in our nation’s military and those who have served previously deserve our utmost respect and gratitude.

On this Veterans Day, I strongly encourage each of you to embrace our nation’s servicemembers and thank the veterans and those currently serving for their service to this great nation. They fight to preserve our safety and our freedoms. A thank you to these heroes is the least we can do.

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Wally Boston Dr. Wallace E. Boston was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of American Public University System (APUS) and its parent company, American Public Education, Inc. (APEI) in July 2004. He joined APUS as its Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2002. In September 2019, Dr. Boston retired as CEO of APEI and retired as APUS President in August 2020. Dr. Boston guided APUS through its successful initial accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association in 2006 and ten-year reaccreditation in 2011. In November 2007, he led APEI to an initial public offering on the NASDAQ Exchange. For four years from 2009 through 2012, APEI was ranked in Forbes' Top 10 list of America's Best Small Public Companies. During his tenure as president, APUS grew to over 85,000 students, 200 degree and certificate programs, and approximately 100,000 alumni. While serving as APEI CEO and APUS President, Dr. Boston was a board member of APEI, APUS, Hondros College of Nursing, and Fidelis, Inc. Dr. Boston continues to serve as a member of the Board of Advisors of the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), a member of the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, and as a member of the board of New Horizons Worldwide. He has authored and co-authored papers on the topic of online post-secondary student retention, and is a frequent speaker on the impact of technology on higher education. Dr. Boston is a past Treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the McDonogh School, a private K-12 school in Baltimore. In his career prior to APEI and APUS, Dr. Boston served as either CFO, COO, or CEO of Meridian Healthcare, Manor Healthcare, Neighborcare Pharmacies, and Sun Healthcare Group. Dr. Boston is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, and Chartered Global Management Accountant. He earned an A.B. degree in History from Duke University, an MBA in Marketing and Accounting from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business Administration, and a Doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. In 2008, the Board of Trustees of APUS awarded him a Doctorate in Business Administration, honoris causa, and, in April 2017, also bestowed him with the title President Emeritus. In August 2020, the Board of Trustees of APUS appointed him Trustee Emeritus. In November 2020, the Board of Trustees announced that the APUS School of Business would be renamed the Dr. Wallace E Boston School of Business in recognition of Dr. Boston's service to the university. Dr. Boston lives with his family in Austin, Texas.

Comment(3)

  1. Mr. Boston,

    As a citizen, a veteran and a student at APUS I want to thank you for the support that both you, the school and the communities provide to myself and others as we work to better ourselves.

    Thank you

    Chris Schwartz
    Citizen, Veteran and Student

  2. Well said, sir. I drove in a parade today at our local Veteran’s Hospital. It was so uplifting to see our Veterans from WWII to Afghanistan and Iraq there. For just a moment, we help them to focus on somthing else other than their illnesses and injuries. We do owe them a great debt of gratitude…

    Chris

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