By David Bates T'18
In my first Veterans Day out of the military, I had the opportunity to participate in two different events that are vital elements of the Tuck education: Peer Learning and Hockey.
As part of Tuck’s observation of Veterans Day, I had the privilege to take part in an event called “Microbrews and the Military.” Sponsored by the Tuck Veterans Club and the Tuck Center for Leadership, Dean Slaughter Matthew moderated a panel of eight current Tuck veterans, including myself. During the two-hour event, we fielded questions from members of the Tuck and Dartmouth communities on our experience as veterans. For students at Tuck, weeknight time is precious so it was heartening to see so many of my classmates and members of the class of 2017 take time out of their schedules to sit, listen, and engage. The questions were diverse and pointed at times but they all embodied respect and a desire to learn from someone else’s perspective; qualities that I have found pervasive at Tuck.
A fun, evening event the following day also engaged the veteran community, but in a lighter way. The Tuck Veterans Club fielded a team in what is fast becoming a tradition over the past several years: a sled hockey game against the Ice Vets, a team of veterans from the nearby White River Junction Veterans Affairs Hospital. We, the Tuck Vets, did our best to strategize and scheme but to no avail. Our dreams were no match for their actual puck handling and shooting ability. It was a well-intentioned rout. We did have a single bright spot in the night: we scored our first ever goal in an Ice Vets vs. Tuck Vets bout. Our only other contribution to the night was excellent play-by-play announcing from another member of the Tuck Veterans Club with a radio voice honed by years spent as a naval aviator. The Ice Vets soundly defeated us 10-1.
Just as with the Microbrews event the previous night, the broader Tuck community turned out in great numbers to support both teams. Our brush with success even left us emboldened to dream big for next year: maybe two goals.