By Candy Osborne
Today’s blog post is dedicated to the men and women who have served in the U.S. military. It’s for the sons and daughters, mothers and fathers still serving and those who have DD-214s. It’s for Skillsoft clients and our own employees who fit this category. It’s a celebration and small homage to anyone who chose to dedicate their lives to something greater, for the greater good.
Allow me to paint a picture. The holidays are coming up. We’re just weeks away from Thanksgiving here in the U.S. Many times entire families, young parents, their children and couples are split up. While the civilian population might enjoy a nice home-cooked meal, many of those serving will eat at the chow hall and occupy their time with one another so they aren’t reminded of the loneliness they may feel especially at this time of year. While we may unintentionally take for granted family gatherings and get-togethers, these are big voids for many service men and women. You’ve simply never craved to be nearer to your quirky aunt, obnoxious cousins or grandfather until you don’t have the opportunity. And so, this year there will be many empty seats at the family Thanksgiving dinner table.
Today we recognize the attributes and qualities often common among veterans. We recognize the selfless courage that overrides indecision, the hopefulness that replaces despair, the leadership that grows out of inexperience and the loyalty to the people a nation united.
On this Veterans Day, consider taking a moment to reflect on the meaning, and most importantly, the men and women for which it has been reserved for observation. Know too that some veterans may feel uncomfortable at the words you choose when you acknowledge their service. It can be because they think they were “just doing their job” or because they didn’t make the ultimate sacrifice.
Perhaps one thing we can all agree on is a sense of gratefulness and respect to those who have served. A college professor of mine once said that we have a choice in life to serve self or serve others. Whatever words you choose, when you think of the empty seats at the Thanksgiving dinner table, the choice that veterans make to serve others is meaningful beyond words. And for that, we salute them.
Candy Osborne is a former U.S. Marine and current Senior Marketing Manager at Skillsoft. Follow her on Twitter at @CandyOsborne.