Visionaries in Service: Shane Oravsky

  • November 2, 2021
A bearded young man in an army uniform stands with weapons against a desert backdrop

Shane Oravsky in photo taken near Belambai Village in Panjawai District, Kandahar Province. 

With Veterans Day and the annual Salute to Service approaching, we're paying tribute to some of the Visionaries whose personal experiences inspired them to join the United States military. Our November series kicks off with Army vet Shane Oravsky, now working with the Military Veteran Leadership Development Program at Johnson & Johnson, who shares his perspectives on the convergence of 9/11 and military service.  

How did September 11 shape your path to military service? 
I felt a heightened sense of duty to serve and contribute to a cause greater than myself. I was motivated by the stories from those initial 'boots on the ground' that spearheaded the Afghan invasion and wanted to follow in their footsteps. Accordingly, I shaped my military career in units that were positioned to confront the enemy in eastern and southern Afghanistan and actively make a difference through action.  

What about the leaders under whom you served has stayed with you the most?
I remember the leaders that maintained a calm demeanor in chaos and ambiguity. In particular, we had an infantry squad leader in our platoon that communicated with A-10s flying overhead when they were cut off from help in the worst engagement I’ve ever experienced. The squad leader’s actions saved the majority of us. I was amazed how people rose to the occasion in times of need. It was a brotherhood and you could really count on those around you to come through regardless of the situation. Combat deployments were terrible, but I was happy to have served next to these amazing people.   

Men and women joining the military today have no living memory of 9/11. Why is it important that they visit the Memorial & Museum to understand both the attacks and the ongoing consequences? 
The 9/11 Memorial & Museum symbolizes an important milestone in our city and nation’s history. It also serves as an important resource for our nation’s future military leaders to learn from as we move forward. I hope that we have a collection of lessons learned for the next generation to inherit and refine.   

By 9/11 Memorial Staff

Note: As part of Salute to Service, U.S. military veterans will receive free Museum admission from Thursday, November 11 through Sunday, November 14, with up to three guests at a 50 percent discount. Reserve your tickets

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