In honor of Veterans Day, we sat down with Associate Head of Middle School and Dean of Student Life Ben Magidson, a veteran of the United States Army. At age 20 and just one day after the September 11 terrorist attacks against the United States in 2001, Magidson consulted with his father, also a veteran, and enlisted.
At the time, Magidson was studying at Albright College in Redding, Pennsylvania. He enrolled in a long-distance program that would allow him to finish his studies from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where he began his boot camp training. Magidson was able to earn his bachelor’s degree in Spanish and history but missed his commencement ceremony to complete training at an airborne school in Georgia.
“I grew up so quickly. It was by far the best decision I ever made. I learned how to lead, how to manage, and how to be there for my soldiers. I woke up every day always wanting to be prepared and never wanting to let them down,” said Magidson.
He began his career as a private in 2001 and worked his way up the ranks to captain when he was honorably discharged in 2007. During that time, he completed one tour in Iraq and two tours in Afghanistan. Magidson was awarded the Bronze Star Medal in 2005 for his “tactical proficiency and selfless commitment to mission accomplishment in a combat zone” in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He also received the Army Commendation Medal the same year for his devotion to duty while serving in the 125th Military Intelligence Battalion.
“Joining the military is not for everybody, but it is my hope that the community appreciates and understands the sacrifices that so many men and women make on a daily basis to protect our country,” Magidson said.
Among the many roles that Magidson has in the Middle School, he also serves as the advisor for the Military Appreciation Club, where he and a group of students organize efforts to demonstrate gratitude to veterans and current service members. The King School community thanks Ben Magidson and all military veterans for their service.