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Memorial Day 2018

Guest post from Greg Jenkins

Remembering Those Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice for Us

On the 28th of May this year I humbly ask you to reflect upon the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to our nation and its citizenry…  Memorial Day is our day to remember and honor those who have served in our armed forces and died while in service to our nation, and I believe we owe them a debt of gratitude.  Volunteering to serve in our uniformed military services is no small decision or obligation, in fact, it’s a commitment like none other.

As someone once wrote, “A military service member is someone who, upon volunteering to serve, writes a blank check payable to The United States of America, for an unknown amount, but up to, and including, his or her life.”  That is a huge responsibility!  It takes great courage and selflessness to leave behind one’s family, loved ones and friends to deploy to some remote and often dangerous place in the world, to preform extraordinarily hard work, all the while offering up their health, well-being and possible life for the service member to their left or right, but many of our military men and women make that offering every day.

To better understand these heroes is to know what guides them as they live out their service.  Military members have an ethical guide, a code, “The Code of Conduct for Members of the United States Armed Forces”.  This code is comprised of six important articles and serves as a guide, a way to honorably perform their duty as they live out their oath of enlistment or commission.  We do not have to go any further than the first article to understand the level of expected commitment and courage it takes to be a US Military service member.

The Code of Conduct for Members of the United States Armed Forces – Article 1

I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.”

“Prepared to give my life in their defense” is not an easy statement for anyone to make, but military members willingly step up to that call daily.  Not only is our military comprised of some really amazing and brave people, but they also come from all walks of life.  They are our family members, our neighbors down the street, or from across town, they come from our counties, parishes, states, US territories and from around the world.  They are a diverse bunch from a broad spectrum of backgrounds like; education, gender, socioeconomic level, race, geographical location, sexual orientation, skill, color, ability, national origin, religion preference and many other dimensions of diversity.

And yet they amazingly come together to serve on and lead successful, sustainable, high-performing and inclusive teams.   They are in many ways the embodiment of what is means to be an American.  I’m so very proud of the men and women who serve in our armed forces, and I’m forever grateful to those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for us.  On Memorial Day I humbly ask you to stop, if only for a moment, and remember these men and women of honor of who’s sacrifice allows us to enjoy our loved ones and our way of life. Thank you.

Greg Jenkins is a diversity and inclusion consultant, leader, facilitator, trainer, coach, mentor and small business owner dedicated to helping people and teams achieve higher levels of performance.  Greg completed a successful 28+ year US Army career that ranged from overseas duties in Germany, South Korea and combat duty in Iraq to include several stateside assignments culminating at the Pentagon in Washington D.C.  Greg is a life-long learner and passionate volunteer who actively mentors and coaches several US military service members and veterans.

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