Service And Sacrifice

Grave Marker of Soldier with American Flag in a National CemeteryToday is Memorial Day in the United States. It is a day designed for remembrance of service members who gave their lives to this nation.

Like other holidays, though, the true “reason for the season” is too often ignored. Christmas is more about shopping and gifts than about the birth of Christianity. Memorial Day is more about cookouts and sporting events than about thanking service members for their commitment and sacrifice.

On this day – as on many days – I find myself thankful for the sacrifices that service members, veterans, and their families made and continue to make to keep our country safe.

Military members may have been drafted into service or they may have volunteered into service. Did you know that anyone who enlists in the US military the first time incurs an eight year service commitment? A recruit might sign a two- or four-year active duty contract but their service commitment is for a total of eight years. After active duty, they engage in active or inactive reserve duty.

Some service members complete their eight year commitment and transition into civilian life. Some service members embrace their military roles as a career, serving until retirement.

Families of service members sacrifice, as well. They support their military service members – sons, daughters, even mothers and fathers – through that eight year commitment. The demands of deployment, particularly in war zones, on service members and their families are extensive and exhausting. And, no matter what, service members and their families do their best to persevere through those difficult times.

How can I best express my thanks to service members and veterans? When I’ve said, “Thank you for your service” to military members, I find many seem a bit uncomfortable with me saying that. I’ve learned that some service members believe such thanks ring hollow. David Finkel’s book on this subject is a powerful narrative of the difficulties of war and of the return home from war.

The United States has placed the burden of military service on the shoulders of a very small percentage of it’s citizens (one half of one percent based on recent analysis). Military service is a heavy responsibility and such service needs to be honored, recognized, and validated.

We as US citizens need to do more – and we need to do right – by our military service members, veterans, and their families. Issues abound for service members, veterans, and their families. For example, medical care for veterans and service members must be through, top quality, prompt, and kind. Another example: pay for military members needs to enable safe and inspiring living conditions, not poverty level experiences.

Addressing these issues will cost money. Taxes may rise or current programs with less citizen benefit must be defunded to help address these issues.

Consistent graceful, kind treatment of our veterans and military members is deserved – and long overdue.

Maybe then, when these systems are fixed and veterans and service members are treated properly, they will feel honored by a grateful nation. Not only will my words but their daily experiences will leave them feeling thanked for their service and sacrifices.

What do you think? What suggestions do you have for treating service members, veterans, and their families more honorably? Add your comments, insights, or questions below.

Add your experiences to two fast & free research projects I have underway: the Great Boss Assessment and the Performance-Values Assessment. Results and analysis are available on my research page.

My new book from Wiley, The Culture Engine, guides leaders to create workplace inspiration with an organizational constitution. Get your free sample chapter here.

Photo © All rights reserved.

Subscribe!Podcast – Listen to this post now with the player below. Subscribe via RSS or iTunes.

The music heard on these podcasts is from one of my songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). I play all instruments on these recordings.

Subscribe to Chris’ twice a month updates! Text VALUES to 66866 or head here.

Chris’ new “Culture Leadership Charge” series and the rest of his video clips can be found on YouTube. Subscribe to Chris’ YouTube channel.

podcast_subscribeSubscribe to Chris’ posts via RSS.

itunes_subscribeListen to or subscribe to over 300 of Chris’ Culture Leadership Podcasts on iTunes.

The music heard on Chris’ podcasts is from one of his songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005-2017 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). He played all instruments, recorded all tracks, and mastered the final product for your listening pleasure.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Chris will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, Chris only recommend products or services he uses personally and believes will add value to his readers. Chris is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

, , , ,

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes