New York Film Academy Los Angeles Veteran Students gathered in a Warner Bros. theater last night, Wednesday February 18th, for a special lecture from Medal of Honor Recipient and newly appointed Chair of NYFA’s Veterans Advancement Program Colonel Jack Jacobs. The Colonel discussed his own experience in transitioning from military to civilian life and offered advice to NYFA veterans on the subject. Colonel Jacobs served in the U.S. Military for more than 20 years and his gallantry in Vietnam earned him the Medal of Honor—the nation’s highest combat honor—two Silver Stars, three Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts. Colonel Jacobs is currently a military strategist and on-air analyst for NBC and MSNBC News. This special lecture was the first step in Colonel Jacobs’ mission at NYFA to support in veteran students’ transition from the military to an exciting career in the media.
The evening began with a screening of a short documentary that recounted the events in the Vietnam war and the Colonel Jacob’s valiant acts the resulted in him receiving the Medal of Honor. The Colonel’s personal, inspiring, and often times humorous talk covered many poignant topics. He emphasized his belief that military men and women are the most competent and hard working individuals in society, and that hiring a veteran is not an act of charity, as many feel, but a benefit to the employer.
Colonel Jacobs discussed the importance of veteran rehabilitation and the incorrect stigmas associated with war veterans. Knowing from his own personal experience, the transition from the brotherhood of the military in the most intense of circumstances to often times feeling completely alone afterwards in ordinary civilian life is extremely difficult. He also told many extraordinary stories from his own life such as when he met the Viet Cong commander who led the deadly ambush against his battalion 40 years after the Vietnam war. The night ended with a short documentary that included moving testimonials from Medal of Honor recipients including Colonel Jacobs, which expressed the importance of remembering those soldiers who acted selflessly for their country and in many cases sacrificed everything.
Afterwards, the Colonel talked personally with student veterans and took photos with them. It was a truly inspiring experience to witness and garner great knowledge from this legendary man in person. We look forward to the great work Colonel Jack Jacobs will do as the newly appointed Chair of NYFA’s Veterans Advancement Program.