Ali Fasano ’95 returned to Hopkins on Monday, November 11, 2019 to deliver Hopkins’ annual Veterans Day address. Fasano enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1999. Following two tours in Iraq, she left the service as a First Lieutenant in 2009.
During her talk to Hopkins students, faculty, staff, and family, Fasano discussed the many sacrifices service members make to defend our nation. "Serving in the military is far more than just a job," she said. "It is a way of life, and, whether you like it or not, it is a duty you cannot quit until you have fulfilled your obligation and service time despite whatever else is going on in your life; where the needs of your country, of your branch of service, of your battalion or squadron, of your company, of your platoon, and even of your gear come before your own needs. It is a PROMISE given by each and every military service member that they will not only uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, but that they agree to become government property for a specified period of time, [to be used] in service of this country, whether wartime or peacetime, during combat missions, peacekeeping missions, or humanitarian aid missions. ... It is a PROMISE that you will be there when called, that you will protect and defend our country and its citizens and their right to a peaceful way of life. A PROMISE that you will give up your right to live in a democracy, so that you can serve our country’s democracy and maintain the free way of life for everyone else living here in the United States. Soldiers, Sailors, Coast Guardsmen, Airmen, and Marines forfeit many of the rights and privileges most Americans enjoy freely, and it is a labor of love that requires motivation, dedication, and commitment."
She also stressed to the audience that there are many ways to serve your country, your community and your fellow humans, even as a civilian. “If your teachers are pushing you to think critically, to ask those important questions, and to fulfill the requirements of a rigorous course load, they are helping you build your arsenal of leadership skills to prepare you for tomorrow, for this crazy, messy, but also amazing, constantly-changing world," she said. "They are preparing you to make a difference. These teachers are serving our nation in doing so. If you become a well-informed citizen and you speak out and take action in the face of injustice, you are serving your country.”
To hear Fasano's remarks in full, please watch the video below.
Thank you, Ali, and to all who have served and are serving, for your sacrifice and your service.