Andrea MorganMonday, November 11, 2019
Every year we acknowledge Veteran’s Day, but don’t take the time to honor it and what it stands for. I keep thinking — is it another day off school where a working family has to juggle childcare. Or is it the post on Facebook with a flag saying thanks for your service? No, it is so much more.
This past week I had the privilege, yes privilege to visit Patrick Air Force Base in Melbourne, Florida. Our client, Hunt Military Communities, is the largest provider of privatized housing for the US military. While on base, it struck a nerve to see up close what these servicemen and women do to protect our freedom. I had the pleasure to be onsite with Jim Curtis, a Veteran who works at Hunt and hear his story firsthand on what it is like to be deployed in Iraq. He did not think twice about going into the military and serving his country. I also spoke with Kamron Ibarra, whose husband served in the armed forces and moved all over without hesitation, as that is part of his service commitment. The selflessness of these men and women is remarkable, and these are mere examples.
As I traveled back to my home in Long Island after this trip, I thought about how touched I was by the storied I heard—such that I felt inspired to do something to honor these service people—at least once a year. I told my family about my experience and how I felt the need for all of us to celebrate our service people. Their support was embracing and sincere. WE would together start a new family tradition to honor our military by first, saying the Pledge of Allegiance every Veteran’s Day as a family unit and second, when I or our my daughters see a military person on the street, we will say thanks in person—not through a text, or social media page but to connect with them in the moment and let them know that we know that our freedom is not free—they volunteered and gave of themselves so that we can live in the best country in the world, The United States of America.
There is one quote that I feel really rings true, “A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America,’ for an amount up to and including their life.” As I reflect, I know my family realizes that our servicemen and women need to be appreciated by all of us and honored in our own way everyday not just today, Veteran’s Day.