A friend of mine, Ron MacKay, posted his perspective on Veteran’s Day. His perspective is unique because of his background. He recently retired from active military service in the US Army and began a civilian career. I came to know Ron about a year ago as our daughters are the same age and played basketball together. He’s a stand-up guy with a love for family, God, and country. I’ve enjoyed getting to know him and like to hear his stories and point of view on things because his perspective is so different than mine. We agree on many things, but the lens that he looks through is very different than mine, as I have no military background.
After reading his post this morning, I asked if I could share it on my blog so others could hear his point of view. He graciously agreed.
Here is a glimpse of his background:
- 3 years as a Platoon Leader
- Senior Manager (Heavy Ground Cavalry Troop Commander)
- Senior Manager (Headquarters Cavalry Troop Commander)
- Consultant, US Army National Guard
- Associate Professor at The University of Texas Army ROTC
- Senior Consultant and Mentor (Team Chief and Combat Advisor)
- Vice President of Operations (Operations Officer, 6th Squadron 9th US Cavalry)
- Chief of Staff (Squadron Executive Officer)
- Vice President of Operations (Brigade Operations Officer)
Undoubtedly, when he offers suggestions regarding the military and how best to honor them, he has the expertise and knowledge to make a solid assessment. So, here is what he offered this Veteran’s Day morning…
“Today I’m remembering all of those who came before me and being grateful for those whom I had the opportunity to serve with. It was a pleasure to serve.
Here’s 10 things America can do besides say “thank you for your service” on Veterans Day:
Donate. The Wounded Warrior Project, USO, Welcome Back Veterans, and The Fischer House are all great organizations worthy of your charitable donations.
Get to know a Vet. We aren’t all crazy, we don’t all have PTSD, and we all just want to get back to normal and move on. Some of us want to tell our story, some of us don’t, and some if us need to tell our story. But you’ll never know unless you ask.
Hire a vet. They may not have the exact skill set you may be looking for, but the overwhelming majority are disciplined, hard working, obedient, trainable, and most likely grateful for the opportunity. A small investment in them will go a long way in generating a loyal, hard working employee.
Hire a military spouse. The demographic of Military Spouse is the most underestimated career pool there is. There is no measure to their adaptability.
Be a mentor to a vet. Even if you don’t hire one, help out with coaching, resume help, and networking. We wore the same thing to work every day, so we have some significant wardrobe challenges, and we never had to do salary negotiations, so any assistance is appreciated.
Learn how to respect the National Colors. Act like the National Anthem is not a nuisance or inconvenience to you. Remove your hat, eyes on the flag, hand over your heart, and don’t fidget. The text/Facebook post/tweet can wait for three minutes.
Vote. Get involved in government and demand accountability from your representatives. A whole bunch of people fought so you could get the government you deserve.
Visit a National Cemetery and reflect. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know anyone there, they are all America’s children who sacrificed so you could enjoy life.
Instead of worshipping a Kardashian, Bieber, Cyrus, Brady, Kobe, A Rod, Gosselin, Tupac, or any “Real Housewife” of whatever town, check out William Swenson, Jacklyn Harrell Lucas, Maurice “Footsie” Britt, James L. Stone, Bruce Crandall, Randy Shugart, Gary Gordon, Leroy Petry, and Clinton J. Romesha. Google it. These men are REAL heroes and their actions are worthy of your attention and respect.
That’s it- not too hard, right? Enjoy the day, and take some time to reflect.”
Thanks for your service Ron. We appreciate the many years that you committed your life, and the sacrifices that your family made, on behalf of the American people.