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Posts Tagged ‘Sacrifice’

…who’s happy?

May 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Memorial Day, in the US is always a bittersweet time of year. A time for reflection and remembrance for those that died during conflict. Also, it marks the beginning of Summer vacation season The few days leading up to the day, are usually marked with mixing of the adulation and reverence. The pinnacle of this mixing, often culminates with the utterance of “Happy Memorial Day!”

Really…do you want to wish someone who has lost a loved one a happy day?

Many people have forgotten the meaning of this observance and in 2000, The National Moment of Remembrance resolution was passed. It asks that at 3pm local time, that all Americans “voluntarily and informally observe in their own way, a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence, or listening to Taps. I have done this for years and do not think it is too much to ask, considering the cost.

Most people also do not realize, that traditional observance requires that the US flag is raised briskly to the top of the staff, then slowly lowered to the half-staff position – remaining there until noon. Only then, is it raised back to full staff for the rest of the day. Flying the flag at half-staff is a remembrance to the more than one million service members who lost their lives for their country. The notion being that, at noon, their memory is raised by the living – to continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.

So take some time, if you will, and remember the fallen. Wear a silk poppy…then carry on into the summer season.

Don’t, however, wish anyone a happy Memorial Day…that’s just silly.photo

http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/
http://www.taps.org/
http://www.fisherhouse.org/

…make wise choices

-sk

 

 

 

 

…wear a hat

November 11, 2013 Leave a comment

Today is a day of thanks to our Nation’s Veterans, past and present. It so happens that I’m travelling today and passing through Charlotte, North Carolina. This airport is usually a hotbed of activity for military personnel as they transition to and from duty stations and/or rotate overseas. I’m sure to the workers here, it is normal for so many Army and Marine personnel in uniform to be walking about.  After I bought a young Marine and beer at the airport bar I walked to my gate to crank out…this blog. On my way, I saw a more than a few uniformed military personnel walking by and you know how many people I saw shake a hand, say thanks or nod?

Not a single person.

All were too busy with their phones, conversations and general disengagement – walking from point A to point B. I sat by a few older guys wearing Vietnam Veteran and Korean Veteran hats. They intimated to me they felt compelled to wear a hat on certain occasions. To no surprise, they wanted to celebrate their service – proudly and outwardly. Some wear their badges and patches on the inside and choose only to share with those most intimate to them – for various reasons.

I thanked them and walked away…

…make wise choices,
-sk

…target of opportunity

May 27, 2013 2 comments

military target “visible to a surface or air sensor or observer, which is within range of available weapons and against which fire has not been scheduled or requested.”

I was in Central London last week the same day that the Country was a-buzz with news of the attacks on a British Soldier in Woolwich by cowards filled with misguided ideology. The timing of this to Memorial Day, here in the States had such a connection that I felt compelled to include this in my post. Although news stories are often sensationalized, the basic facts are a soldier dressed in civilian clothing, wearing a well respected UK Veteran support organization was basically hit by a car and hacked to death with bladed weapons. He was out-of-the-fight so to speak, but still a military asset and a target.

There are plenty of dangerous jobs/careers that people knowingly (and sometimes unknowingly) assume. Serving in the Military is one of the very few vocations that follows you home in some cases.

It follows you home in the potential forms of discrimination, physical disabilities, emotional disabilities and more recently so – being a target. I am not going to pretend that random violence does not take place. I will not ignore the fact that certain demographics of people are targeted for crime. That being said, we have had domestic instances of such attacks  on military bases, and attacks  away from bases as well. Certainly, this trend won’t soon diminish as we have generations of post-war zealots that continue to use religion as an excuse to do harm to others. That, coupled with an increasing amount of veterans rotating out of the various battle theaters worldwide – will present more targets.

Yes, I realize that this as been going on since the dawn of time…how wonderful would this world be without religion (a post for another time)?

And so another Memorial Day is upon us, at a time of year where flowers would be in bloom all over the Country. And we can remember and live for and on behalf of those that no longer can….AF

While it is difficult to directly support Active Duty members of the military, it is fairly easy to provide support to trusted organizations. As in previous years, with one addition to the top, given recent events – are organizations that I personally believe in and support:

http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/
http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/
http://www.taps.org/
http://www.fisherhouse.org/

Most, if not all do not expect support or recognition for their service…that’s why we call it service.

…make wise choices,

-sk

…double tap

November 11, 2012 Leave a comment

Two days (among a few others) that remain etched into my mind are before us. Yesterday, marked the 237th Marine Corps Birthday  and today marks Veteran’s day here in the US. One is a joyous occasion celebrating the continued existence of the most fierce fighting force in the world. The other, a day of reflecting on the past and present men and women that gave service to our Nation.

Both events have an underpinning that I have discussed a few times in this blog – the notion of service. Doing something beyond yourself, and in many cases with no personal gain as a motivating factor whatsoever.

We do what we can so that others can do what they must.

Actively support organizations that help our warriors return to civilian life and contribute, to return to whatever normalcy they can and help support the families that they leave behind.

http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/

http://www.taps.org/

http://www.fisherhouse.org/

…make wise choices,

-sk

…strategic failure

September 5, 2012 Leave a comment

I was discussing work life balance and professional/personal workload management the other day, and an interesting question was raised. What happens when your proverbial plate is literally running over – and no one cares?

I have not experienced this situation – yet. Perhaps I had, and just did not realize that it was happening? Interesting question none the less. I believe that different individuals handle varying degrees of situational stress based on a number of factors (nature, nurture..etc).

This is part of who we are and also where we are in – in terms of being on target with our life goals. What – you have no goals?

This conversation brought up another chat that I had a few months ago on the notion of chess strategies. I am not very good at this game, but that does not stop me from playing. Plainly put, you have pawns that you sacrifice, at times to gain the upper hand in the game by moving into a better strategic position on the chess board. Simple stuff. You have lots of them (pawns), in relation to other pieces, which inherently makes them expendable.

So what if you were to treat your workload as a series of chess pieces? I’m sure that most individuals prioritize their work and I am not making reference to prioritization. I am talking about straight up failing on efforts that have little real impact in order to illustrate a point made above, when all else fails.

It should be noted that I do not subscribe to this ideology, but its notion as a method of sustainability in the professional workplace is nothing short of fascinating!

So the advice to someone that is in the situation referenced above, depending on personal risk factors and overall degree of confidence is simple. Sacrifice your pawns

Victim of circumstantial whims or an agent of change…albeit at a risk. Interesting choice.

…make wise choices,

-sk

…thanks for your service, now go away

May 28, 2012 Leave a comment

As we celebrate another Memorial Day, I am compelled to remind readers of its meaning. One word sums it up for me, that word is Sacrifice.

The past few decades saw hundreds of thousands of service men and women join military ranks. Motivations ranged from college funding, patriotism, wanting to serve and all the way through to having no other choice of earning a living.

Whether Active Duty or Reservists, they were compelled to contribute to a greater cause – something higher than themselves. They left families, jobs, friends and a casual spoiled lifestyle many of us enjoy without realizing our surroundings.

Many men and women come back from service, sometimes wounded internally, sometimes externally and always forever changed. Some for better, some for worse – but all changed.

Many never returned, being captured or killed in direct combat and/or in the support of combat operations. They left behind wives, husbands, children, relatives and friends. Those that will never again see them, talk to them or feel familiar warm embraces.

How do we recognize them? Save for a few holidays – some have bumper stickers (made outside of the US), magnets and an occasional thanks to a uniformed service person. Today, marks a day of remembrance, take a few moments to remember and reflect….and do something.

What can you do to help?

Actively support organizations that help our warriors return to civilian life and contribute, to return to whatever normalcy they can and help support the families that they leave behind.

http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/

http://www.taps.org/

http://www.fisherhouse.org/

…make wise choices

-sk

…warrior eternal

May 6, 2011 Leave a comment
SEAL MOH     Lt. Michael P. Murphy SEAL - MOH - KIA

Lt. Murphy SEAL - MOH - KIA

The Navy will christen the newest guided-missile destroyer, Michael Murphy, May 7 during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine. The new destroyer honors Navy SEAL (Sea, Air, Land) Lt. Michael P. Murphy who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan June 28, 2005.

For those that have not yet read this book, I would advise that you do, as it tells the harrowing story of the only SEAL team member to survive from this fateful day – Lone Survivor.

Amazing warriors.

…make wise choices.

-sk

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