It’s Memorial Day


History is something many of us take for granted. We live our daily lives without truly understanding the past  that has shaped the present. Disregarding our current state of mind and forgetting how our actions impact, affect and create the future. Many of us never learn from the past because we rarely look into it to know just how deeply it has affected the steps we take now.


My dad served in World War II as an engineer working on planes and fighting jets that were used to protect and attack the other side. He served in the Air National Guard. I would rather say the other side because we are all enemies to someone. We all fight for reasons that are beyond comprehension (watch the movies: ‘Flags of our Fathers’ based on the book of the same title and ‘Letters from Iwo Jima’ based on the book ‘Gyokusai s?shikikan’).  Like many my age who have detested war or even becoming part of it - I appreciate those, like my father, that have made these sacrifices.


I had rolled around the idea of joining the Army or the Marines in my mid-twenties. If I had made that hard choice to join, I would most likely have been in Iraq in the 90′s or in Afghanistan now. If I had joined, there is a good chance I would have never met my wife. Never enjoyed the time of my son. Never met the good people that I have come to call my colleagues and friends. I would have never started writing poetry and doing shows in the late 1990′s, picked up golf, or started to write this blog.

For whatever reason, I did not make that large sacrifice of dropping my current situation for that of putting on a uniform, picking up a gun and serving my street, neighborhood, state or country. I chose not to make that sacrifice. Someone else made that decision so I would not have to.

However, I could never show the level of gratitude for those who make that CHOICE. No words or actions could express thanks enough for the personal and professional sacrifices they have made and continue to make to protect us from harms way.

When you are on your boat, at the barbecue, a tail-gate or hanging out with your family, friends enjoying the day - remember those who are unable to do the same. Imagine the family moments they miss, the small relaxation they give up and the memories they will never have as a result of their service. Lift your glasses and take a moment to say a prayer. Appreciate them.

They make the hard sacrifices so the rest of us don’t have to

So although it will never be enough, all I can say…


If you have never done so, try looking out for our men and women in uniform this week. Take a moment to stop them, shake a hand and say thank you. Many times that will be something they appreciate.

Side Note: It amazes me how many HR professionals do not understand the resources available to our veterans and current armed services soldiers. If you haven’t done so review the web site for the Department of Veteran Affairs which has some great information and resources for our soldiers.



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