Former congressman, Cabinet secretary addresses Fishburne on Veterans Day

The threats faced today and tomorrow are different than any in the history of mankind, said former congressman, Secretary of the Army and National Security Advisor John Marsh in a Veterans Day address at Fishburne Military School in Waynesboro on Monday.

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Marsh, a four-term congressman representing the Shenandoah Valley in the 1960s, has the distinction of being the only sitting member of Congress to serve in a warzone, in Vietnam, and was the longest-serving Secretary of the Army in the nation’s history, serving out the entire two terms of the Reagan administration from 1981-1989.

He also served in World War II, and two sons served in Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

“You’ve got a number of veterans here. They represent different wars. It’s very important that we recognize these moments in our national history that were times of sacrifice and greatness,” said Marsh, who paid tribute to Fishburne Military School’s founder, James A. Fishburne, for his contributions to history and his country.

“We should never forget what Mr. Fishburne did to establish this institute. We will never be able to measure the greatness of the contribution of those who have worn this uniform, marched on these grounds, went into civilian or military life, and went on to positions of greatness,” Marsh said.

Fishburne recognized “that an excellent way to train young men in virtues and valor and also to train them intellectually is in a military environment. They may not like it at first, but the discipline that they receive and the learning instructions that they receive stand them in a good stead,” Marsh said.

“I predict that in this group, right here, there will emerge greatness. It may be in medicine, law, business, education. It may be in the military. But here, you are being prepared for service to your country,” said Marsh, listing the dangers faced in modern society.

“Terrorism is with us now, and it shall be with us for years to come. Problems that relate to the Information Age and the cyber age and the complications that come with computer science and its utilization. Adaptation to new methodologies are vital,” Marsh said.

“These are going to be challenges that you are going to have to face. You will do it well. Fishburne will be heard from,” Marsh said.

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