Gen. David M. Rodriguez, commander of U.S. Army Forces Command, made the most of his two days at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Ky., administering the commissioning oath, delivering a commencement address, receiving an honorary degree and reuniting a wounded warrior with his fiancée.
He administered the oath of office to 10 Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets, May 4.
The university presented Rodriguez with an honorary law degree, May 5, after which he addressed degree candidates in the Colleges of Business and Technology and Education, urging them to find a way to serve.
“Service to your nation is an individual choice to be part of something greater than yourself,” he said. “Service to the nation is not limited to a position you hold, an office you occupy, or an organization in which you are a member. Service to the nation is a sense of belonging, an aspiration to help, a desire to make your community, town, state or country better.”
“I can see the spark you have in your eyes,” he continued. “If you let it, it will ignite a passion to go forth and do great things, to give something back to America. As the years pass, your generation will be judged, and you will begin to judge yourself on what you contribute to others, to your country, your communities, and your children.”
As for his reuniting accomplishment, Rodriguez arranged to bring with him a wounded warrior he had met during a visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, 2nd Lt. Josh Pitcher of the 82nd Airborne Division, in order to attend his fiancée’s graduation at EKU.