November 11th is Veteran’s Day in the United States. Take a few minutes to reflect on what their service means to you and your business.
My father served in the United States Navy during World War II. His brother served in the Army Air Force. His brother-in-law also served in the Navy and saw combat in the Pacific. Dad, in my opinion, was fortunate he stayed stateside during the war. He taught electricity to seamen as Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class. I wish there were some way to know how many sailors that he taught who went on to become electricians in America after the war.
As we think about these and other veterans, we need to consider the impact they have had on the world of business.
Veterans surround us in today’s business world. As an employer, you may have hired a few because you trust their work ethic. They’ve been trained to follow orders and do their work without complaining. They have respect for others and stand up for what is right.
Some have seen the horrors of war, and pity on those of us who think the scenes in video games come close to the real thing. Far from it! Most veterans find it difficult to discuss their experiences with civilians. I would guess it’s because they fear we will fail to understand or that we will be unable to stomach the truth of seeing death or bullet wounds first hand.
My father-in-law was a bomber pilot during World War II, and doubtless was responsible for countless deaths from the bombs his aircraft dropped on German cities. He flew a full complement of missions and was one of the lucky ones who made it back alive each time. He came back after the war and became a successful business man, operating a machine shop and a novelty business that provided for his eight children. His legacy, and that of my father, continues well beyond his passing.
On this Veteran’s Day, unfurl your American flag and fly it proudly. Put a flag decal in your car window and keep it there. Thank someone you know who is a veteran and, if the opportunity presents itself, do something nice for that person. Pay for their lunch without them knowing who did it. Stand up for them should someone start bashing our military and its veterans. Buy them a cup of coffee. Do something you’re proud of today, and do it to honor a family member who served … and perhaps gave their life to protect your liberties. Say a prayer for those who have served and those who continue to serve.
Freedom comes at a cost, and I – for one- am proud of those who have stepped forward to bear arms to give me the freedoms I enjoy as a citizen of the United States of America!