From growing up in foster homes and group homes at a young age, to now training for a physical test with the Department of Corrections, going to school and taking care of his son, Robert Meunier, Sr., now 37-years-old, thanks the military and his time serving for affording him the opportunity to make something of himself. “My military experience has affected my life in many ways today. I’m very lucky, I come from a very poor background – I grew up in foster homes and group homes. The military afforded me to be able to go to college and earn a bachelor’s degree, which by myself, without the GI bill, I never would have been able to do, and walk away with no college debt, which is huge. The GI bill helped me out and VA Homes helped me out so I’m very thankful for those things,” Meunier said.
Joining the Air Force at 24-years-old, Meunier served four years as a Senior Airman Financial Technician with an AAFC in Financial Management. Reflecting on his time in the Air Force, Meunier credits the military for allowing him to help people, while also learning along the way. “What I enjoyed most about my time in the service was going out and helping people. I liked learning, too, and we had a lot of online classes and in-person classes,” explains Meunier. Not only did Meunier enjoy furthering his education and knowledge, he also “met a lot of great people that will be my friends the rest of my life. You make some bonds that will just never go away.”
Beginning his time in the Air Force at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, Meunier then then spent his time at Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi before finishing up his time at Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, South Dakota. Meunier became inspired to join the military when talking with his friends who were currently serving. “What inspired me to join the military was that I had a lot of friends that loved it and talked very highly about it,” said Meunier. At age 24, Meunier “knew I was in a part of my life where I wanted to do something and make something of myself. The military afforded me the opportunity to come back home, go to college and be able to take care of my son.”
When talking about supporting the military, Meunier acknowledges that he’d “rather spend my hard earned money with brands who support those who are serving and those who have served, instead of a company that doesn’t because most of these company’s founders or most of their employees are veterans and they usually donate money back into the veteran community, which is very important.”
With less than one-half of one percent of the United States population being accounted for as active duty personnel in 2020, Meunier wishes that more people would serve in the military today. “I wish more people would serve. I wish more people would go and sign up to be there for their country at times when we need them. People who are doing it today, it’s very unselfish, I applaud you,” Meunier said.
To find out more about Robert Meunier’s hero story, watch the video below: