Veterans Day Salute: Veteran Vet Generator

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Ray "Old Soldier" Moran snags another recruit from his Fort Meade, Md., office / Army photo by Jonathan E. Agee

Happy Veterans Day!

Where the heck do those 22 million U.S. military veterans come from? Well, Ray Moran has done more than his share to bring them in. The retired Army sergeant major has spent decades recruiting soldiers. Having just turned 82, he has earned his nickname Old Soldier en route to getting more than 1,000 young men and women to sign up. Although he retired from the military more than 30 years ago, he has continued as a civilian recruiter outside Baltimore.

He saw action in Korea before recruiting troops for Vietnam, and in the earliest days of the all-volunteer force. “We built a volunteer Army that really proved itself in Desert Storm,” he tells Donna Miles of the Pentagon’s American Forces Press Service. “They were just a marvelous bunch of soldiers, and they have done it right through to Iraq and Afghanistan today. We are very proud of the all-volunteer Army.” He’ll be at Arlington National Cemetery this Veterans Day, along with visits to several war memorials. A toast to Sergeant Major Moran – and to all who have served.