John Tarleton’s dream to create an institution of higher education for students of modest means today is reality. Tarleton State University offers an affordable, quality education and boasts graduates whose accomplishments would leave its founder proud.

This monthly column, by an anonymous university author, looks at the school’s progress, issues of our time, achievements and challenges through the eyes of John Tarleton - a dreamer’s point of view.

We’ll celebrate the legacy of our nation’s patriots this weekend with picnics and parades. Time to reflect. As Americans, it’s our duty to honor these brave men and women, and keep their legacy forever fresh in the memories of future generations.

At Tarleton, we tend to make every day Memorial Day.

From landmarks to traditions to the Texan Corps of Cadets, we take pride in our rich military history and heritage.

Veterans have always been part of our family. We’ve watched them leave to fight since World War I, and looked forward to welcoming them home with Tarleton spirit.

Tarleton’s Texan Corps of Cadets dates back 100 years when we became the founding member of The Texas A&M University System. Return of the corps testifies of our commitment to prepare students for leadership in military and civilian life.

This spring, we broadened our offerings and partnered with the U.S. Air Force and TCU to offer aerospace studies and the chance for students to commission as second lieutenants—similar to opportunities offered to the Texan Battalion, a senior U.S. Army Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC), established in 1921.

The battalion brought home one of Tarleton’s most recognizable landmarks in 1922, the cannon in front of the E.J. Howell Building. Until the onset of World War II, the battalion fired it in training and each evening at the lowering of the flag. The flag pole and a marker honoring the students, faculty and staff who served in World War II also front the building.

The battalion’s Wainwright Rifles Drill Team—named for Gen. Mayhew Wainwright—made us proud many times but never more than when they participated in the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy.

The Military Marching Band has a special place in Tarleton’s history, performing at the state fair in 1922, on WBAP radio in 1924 and in 1933 when Miriam Ferguson became governor.

The Hunewell Bandstand and Military Memorial salute those who serve. Tarleton’s annual Silver Taps ceremony honors all members of the Tarleton family who died the previous year—many are veterans—and Memorial Stadium is a tribute to the 179 students, faculty and staff who fought and died in World War II.

This fall, we’ll dedicate a pedestrian mall and unveil a statue of U.S. Army Maj. Gen. James Earl Rudder—a Tarleton alumnus highly decorated for his World War II heroism and later president of Texas A&M and chancellor of the A&M System—and Vanderbilt Street on campus will become Rudder Way.

Of course, the names of Tarleton family who’ve served our nation over the years is too long to list: Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, Lt. Col. William Dyess, Col. Will Tate, Capt. Bob “Bullet” Gray, Col. James D. Bender, E.A. “Doc” Blanchard, Dick Smith, George Ferguson, O.H. Frazier, and thousands more.

We’re dedicated to our veterans and their families. That’s why we created a Veterans Affairs Office to help them reach their educational goals, and we’re proud members of the Student Veterans of America.

Those we honor this weekend gave their lives for us. We owe them one weekend of tribute but, at Tarleton, we honor them every day.