In memoriam for all those who gave their lives …

Over the years, I have worked for terrific organizations. Organizations that truly care about Veterans.

And when working for Studer Group Huron, I was blessed to be part of an amazing team who worked each day to support military health care organizations as they seek to continuously improve the care, safety, clinical outcomes, and healthcare experience for veterans and their families.

I was also blessed with the opportunity to volunteer as part of the Huron Veterans iMatter Team — and many years to compose our Memorial Day message (see below).

There are many opportunities before each of us to Lead Serve and Love to achieve Impact for others.

And it is up to each of us to take advantage of these opportunities to engage and to make a difference each day.

As we remember our fallen heroes today, lets also remember the best way to honor their sacrifice is in service to others.

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Memorial Day 2018
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Eighteen years prior to his Memorial Day proclamation, then Lieutenant Junior Grade (JG) Kennedy’s PT boat (PT-109) was cut in half by the Japanese destroyer Amagiri and only through his heroism and champion level swimming (and the kindness and bravery of two Solomon Islanders) were all but two of his men saved.

And for his service, John F. Kennedy received the Navy and Marine Corps Medal and the Purple Heart.

Years later, Kennedy would say:

“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

These words are apropos on this and every Memorial Day.

Prayers, words and gratitude can touch hearts. Effort and courage is essential for change. Purpose and direction creates the pathway to impact. And each requires us to be in action to achieve the outcome we seek.

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

  • According to a recent Department of Defense study, while the overall civilian rates of prescription drug misuse was 4.4%, the rate for veterans was 11.7%, with the impact particularly acute for women who serve.
  • 40,000 veterans are homeless on any given night.
  • Half a million veterans are unemployed.
  • And, twenty-two veterans are committing suicide each and every day.

“We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light the candle that can guide us thru that darkness to a safe and sane future.”

We have much work to do to truly honor our living and deceased veterans.

So, yes, in memory (in memorial) on this Memorial Day lets speak words of gratitude to and for all those who served and died for our country.

Let’s honor them by appreciating, loving and caring for all of our living veterans in their memory – by shining light on the challenges they are facing and by going into action with purpose and direction to rectify these situations.

Each statistic quoted above represents a person. A veteran who deserves far better. And we at Huron are in action and a proud employer of many self-identified Veterans, including former enlisted and commissioned Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

We have the utmost respect and gratitude for all the brave men and women who have served our country.

We also recognize that there is much these men and women have to offer us, i.e., their valuable skills, experience and leadership gained throughout their military career.

There is much we have to offer to them. From new challenges and exciting purpose driven work and being part of a team who will support them with training and coaching to joining a community of veterans through our Veterans employee resource group.

Yes, a win-win.

In memoriam for all those who gave their lives for each of us, be sure to then stand tall and be in action.

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.”

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April 24, 1961

By the President of the United States of America

John F. Kennedy

A Proclamation

Whereas the high courage and the supreme sacrifice of Americans who gave their lives in battle have made it possible for our land to flourish under freedom and justice; and

Whereas the ideals and patriotism of those who answered the call to service stand as an inspiration to every new generation of Americans; and

Whereas the same principles and revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought and died are still at issue in the world and the challenge against them can be met only through the same qualities of courage, strength, and unflinching determination shown by our noble dead; and

Whereas Memorial Day each year provides a fitting occasion upon which our people may not only commemorate the Nation’s heroic dead but also unite in prayer for the preservation of liberty and peace free from the threat of war; and

Whereas to this end the Congress, in a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950 (64 Stat. 158), requested the President to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace.

iMatter TEAM
If you’re interested in joining the Veterans iMatter team, please email iMatter-Veterans-Info-Request.

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