Veterans Speak!

November 17, 2022

As part of the 2022 Freedom Week celebration, Young Americans for Freedom was hosting four veterans who each shared their experiences while serving in the military. The speakers included:

  • Retired U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua King: King served for 10 years — six years on active duty and four years in the drilling reserves. While on active duty, he served as a nuclear-trained machinist mate and transitioned to an aerographer’s mate after leaving active duty and serving in the drilling reserves. He was stationed in both Hawaii and Washington, and served aboard the USS Buffalo SSN 715, a Los Angeles–class fast-attack submarine.
  • Retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Maria Kinnunen: Kinnunen, a native of New Jersey, joined the Navy as a direct-accession engineering duty officer (EDO) and attended Officer Candidate School, followed by Surface Warfare Officers School. Kinnunen later went on to attend the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, and received an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1995. She then servde as executive officer and assistant professor of naval science at Carnegie Mellon University ROTCU, where she had the pleasure of preparing midshipmen to meet the challenges of the fleet. She retired in 2007 from the USS Carl Vinson after 20 years of service
  • WWII Veteran Retired U.S. Army Air Force Staff Sgt. Joseph A. Enrietti: Enrietti is originally from Mohawk, Michigan, and served in the 789th Squadron, 467th Bomber Group, 8th Air Force, as a tail gunner in a B-24 Liberator. He received an Aerial Gunner Badge, WWII Victory Medal and European Campaign Metal with a Bronze Star.
  • Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Walter Cayce: Cayce served 27 years as a flight surgeon and is a graduate student in Michigan Tech’s College of Computing, studying health informatics. He is originally from Lakewood, Ohio.

The stories of these veterans were recorded and are available below.

Protecting Our Freedom with Anthony Watson
Standing Up to Tyranny with Yeonmi Park
Map of the Upper Peninsula with the location of Houghton highlighted