As a modern marketer who was once an Airman First Class in the United States Air Force, today has special meaning. When I served in the armed forces, I thought my life was an open canvas. A canvas to be painted with experiences, life and love. Today, I know that without that time of service, training and respect for authority, I would not be the person I am.
As everyone thanks our service members for their support today, I reflect a little differently. I thank the armed services for what they taught me. I thank the Air Force for sharing with me experiences I would have never imagined I could experience. The Air Force showed me what it was to give, to serve, to persevere through it all. I did things I, quite frankly, didn’t want to do. I learned things I had no interest in. Through it all, I learned to be thankful. I learned to team with my fellow service members and learn what it means to do whatever it takes to make it work. I had fellow service members whom I loved. I had fellow service members who died. I grieved greatly. I had fellow service members who I still remember today and often wonder what happened to them.
So today, I give thanks for the people who I stood beside in service. I give thanks for the opportunity to know the people who died in service next to me during the very first Desert Storm. I give thanks for the opportunity to do something for my country that others can’t even imagine. I give thanks as this service has transformed my entire life.
Thanks to a country where my service matters, my contribution matters and I know we live a different life because of that service. Today, I and my entire family are thriving. I have been through the fire personally and professionally and have come out on top because of my perseverance. I have tenacity and self-confidence that allows me to tread into waters unknown and know that I can come out successful–with marketing automation, this is a particularly useful trait.
So today, I give thanks. I salute all those who came before me and all those who come after me. I salute human kind.