As we spend this week honoring our veterans—I have asked Retired Army Colonel David Sutherland to serve as a guest blogger today. His service to this country—and his leadership on and off the battlefield is an example to every one of us.
By Retired Army Colonel David W. Sutherland, Chairman, Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services – a member organization of The Fedcap Group
Serving in the military was one of the highlights of my life. I say this, because many of those service members I served with and many of those veterans I now advocate for, are wired to serve.
I was the Commander of 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division in Iraq during “surge” operations in the volatile Diyala Province. My formation consisted of more than 5,000 of our nation’s finest men and women in uniform. For 15-months, they poured their hearts and souls into the mission; a mission that many deemed impossible.
They were determined to accomplish what they were sent to Iraq to do. And they did. Their experiences were indescribable. Their sacrifices were great. It was my honor to lead these amazing Americans and witness their heroism and courage first-hand.
Through the spirit of these brave men and women, and over my near 30-year military career, my view of leadership evolved. Our veterans are phenomenal — natural leaders who did not just learn military values but live them. These men and women have returned home and are contributing to their communities. I love telling their stories of valor, courage, and commitment. Here are just a few:
These three veterans are just a few who I describe as wired to serve and passionate about giving back to their community and neighbors. We live in the age of distraction. Our veterans and their courage remind me that our brightest future hinges on our ability to pay attention to the present. Join us this Veterans Day and Remembrance Day by reflecting on the service, and celebrating the achievements, of our nation’s veterans and what they are doing to contribute today.
If you know a veteran, reach out and have a real conversation with him or her. Veterans Day and Remembrance Day is an opportunity to get to know a remarkable group of people.
No matter what you do this Veterans Day and Remembrance Day, it is a day of celebration – enjoy it.