De Pere, Wis. (WFRV) – “I got a note in the mail and it said, ‘Would you like to go ahead and try the Reserve Officers Training Corps, ROTC,'” Dan Ammerman recalled.

A note in the mail back in 1980 while Ammerman was a student at Marquette, was all it took to start his career in the military.

“My father was in the Army right between the Korean War and Vietnam War time period, he was stationed in Germany. I think, and I probably didn’t know at the time, but just the values I think that you get from the military are very constructive to a successful life and balance,” said Ammerman. 

Never could Ammerman have dreamed that he’d climb the ranks to two-star Major General.

From infantry officer to commanding Civil Affairs operations, Ammerman traveled the world, missions in places like Germany, Bosnia, Kosovo, and several times to Iraq.

The culmination of it all: Retiring as Major General Dan Ammerman. Thirty-nine years between the Army, the National Guard and the Army Reserves.

So what kept him in it for all these years?

“Probably the thing that drew me into staying in the most is just the people. I had a chance to work with some incredible soldiers, and later on airmen and sailors and marines,” Ammerman recalled.

“It’s really the people that made me stay. There’s something special about the people I had a chance to work with that are willing to serve their country. That’s what really stood out to me and made me want to continue to serve,” he said.

So what does a retired Major General do in his free time?

Ammerman keeps busy with groups like the Military Officers Club,  where he spearheads the Veteran’s Benefit Golf Outing each year, raising more than $100 thousand for veterans groups across Northeast Wisconsin.

By continuing to serve his country in other ways now, Ammerman’s message is simple: Show appreciation.

“We have so many great things in this country, so many freedoms that the other thing from a deployment standpoint, the way we live, our quality of life is so much better than the quality of life in these other places,” Ammerman said.

“By thanking veterans, future generations will also choose to serve and protect our standard of living and our freedoms that we enjoy here in the United States,” he said.

To participate in the live auction for the Veterans Benefit Golf Outing, click here.