Life lessons from a decorated WWII veteran to students

In 2020, a group of EF Explore America student travelers had the opportunity to speak with a veteran named Warren who was in World War II via video call. Warren spoke about his experience during the war as well as his life as a veteran. He also offered the students some sage advice garnered from his time abroad (you can read a few key takeaways below).

Warren is one of many veterans that students can connect with through EF’s exclusive partnership with the Honor Flight Network. This non-profit organization is dedicated to honoring American veterans by transporting them to visit their memorials in our nation’s capital. On our Washington D.C. & New York tours, students can greet veterans while visiting their memorials, partaking in a meaningful moment of cross-generational connection.

Warren, a veteran who was in World War II

Here are a few pieces of advice Warren shared during his conversation:

Question everything you hear
“Be sure when you hear something, even several times over, you don’t take it as an actual fact. Make sure you investigate and see if it follows with your beliefs. You know, it’s quite often you hear something many times, and pretty soon you believe it. Question it to find out all the details…If you do that, I think you’ll stay on the right side of things and make the right decisions.”

Always do your best
“Do things to the best of your ability whenever you have a chance. Put all of your effort into it and do it right. Don’t ask for a second chance, ’cause in serving in the Marine Corps and in combat, you quite often didn’t get a second chance.”

Never give up
“Don’t give up. School may seem tough and unappetizing at the time, but if you put forth the effort, you will be rewarded in the end.”

Photo credit: Warren Musch, Oral History Department, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum


Want to learn about another inspiring WWII veteran?

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, we partnered with Veterans Back to Normandy, the WWII Foundation, and the Utah Beach Museum to create an augmented reality experience about the late veteran named Jack Port, who was in World War II. To experience his story with an iPhone, download the app here, and scan Jack’s photo here.

One more thing…

Interested in another way to experientially learn about history, veterans, and maybe even the beaches of Normandy? D-Day tours might be just what you’re looking for.


Editor’s note (2022): This piece has been updated for clarity, accuracy, and relevance.

Claudia Mihm

Claudia is a product owner on EF’s Emerging Tech team, which means driving innovation (the super-fast, all-in, “let’s build something awesome” kind) is a huge part of her job. She’s an educator at heart, too, with experience teaching young kids to code and building curriculum around different tech tools. Her favorite EF travel experience was visiting Davos, Switzerland to take in our Global Leadership Summit alongside students and teachers from around the world.

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