Today’s is Veteran’s Day. My father was in the U.S. Navy, all of my uncles were in the U.S. Army, and all of them served active duty in WWII, so I have always felt this day was special and important. My girlfriend’s son is currently in his third day of The Crucible with the U.S. Marine Corps—a 54-hour training exercise that completes the recruit training and it’s supposed to be hellacious. Quite fitting that they end on Veteran’s Day, recognizing, in some way, what those that have come before them endured.
I used to thank servicemen for their service and then I stopped. My daughter was friends with a Marine who said, “We laugh when people thank us because it seems so hollow.” I wanted to say, “NO! Not me! I get it—a little bit. I’ve heard the stories from my family. My dad was shot at in New Guinea. My uncle ran over a land mine and was blown off the Jeep he was driving. Another uncle was on the front line and told me how scared he was. I am REALLY thanking you for being so brave that you signed up for something that you knew could kill you. I’m thanking you for your service because I am not that brave. I don’t know what you went through, but I do know that it couldn’t have been easy. And when it got really tough, taking a day off wasn’t an option, neither was quitting. So I am thanking you for keeping all of us safe here in the United States when I wasn’t brave enough to choose that same path.”
Have you ever looked at a job posting that had, “death is possible” as one of the descriptions, followed by, “quitting is not”? Maybe thanking our servicemen and women is more challenging now because we have somehow made our words hollow, but today is Veteran’s Day so we have to try a little harder. Is there someone you can reach out to to thank? Maybe they served or maybe they lost someone who served. Sacrifices were made, bigger than we will ever understand. This is not a day off from work—it’s VETERAN’S DAY! Give that some thought today.