Post-Veteran’s Day Musings from A Veteran

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  David B. Grinberg 7 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #180914

    David Dejewski
    Maybe you’ve seen the video I did for Veteran’s Day? That video was published in a good number of venues. I got a lot of thanks from friends and former service buddies. I even reconnected with a few former service buddies – which was fun.
    It’s probably not politically correct to tell you that I actually got a little fatigued from all the thank you’s.
    It’s an interesting reality: I am glad that people remember veterans on Veterans Day, but in general, I find myself wishing there would be fewer thanks and back slapping – and more action during the rest of the year.
    I want to see people reaching out to help one another; setting up business structures that give back as much as they profit; and individuals brave enough, and aware enough, to stand up against selfish and power grab politics.
    Maybe I ask for too much, but on Veterans Day and on Memorial Day, I am reminded: that I and my fellow service members were “asked” by this country to be prepared to give our last full measure of devotion for some knucklehead’s politics – politics that most of us – even most of those who thought they knew what was going on – weren’t really aware of.
    We each do what we do – and did what we did – for our own reasons, but I can tell you from personal experience, that putting pen to paper to sign a “until-death-do-us-part” contract, lacing up boots, patching holes in people’s chests, and pushing live rounds down range on a daily basis means getting up close and personal with perspective.
    We were each prepared to do unspeakable things. By “prepared,” I mean by others until we eventually accepted what our role would be – and that morality isn’t exactly what we thought it was. Many nights of staring up from a rack, sleep deprived and alone, give warriors time to think about Why.
    In the end, we didn’t have to look farther than the rack next to us to come up with a pretty good Why. It was clear then. He is me.
    I can’t believe I’m the only veteran who thinks to himself: Don’t just raise the flag, thank me and be done. Learn from me. Understand the Why that allows us to make the ultimate sacrifice. Apply that understanding to life.
    That would make our service and sacrifice count.
  • #180926

    David B. Grinberg

    Thank you, David, for sharing those profound words of wisdom — as well as the inspiring and educational video.

    America owes a huge debt of gratitude to all of our brave servicemen and women which can never be repaid. Please know that your military service and sacrifice, like that of all veterans, is highly valued and deeply appreciated by ordinary citizens every day of the year — not just on official holidays.

  • #180924

    David Dean

    The federal government is still fighting tooth and nail to not hire veterans, we put the so called Outstanding Program to rest, we put the Federal Career Intern Program, FCIP, to rest now we have Pathways. Pathways impacts more harshly on veteran preference than the two combined. I agree stop the one day of mostly BS, and do some thing for the other 364 days. It will never stop.

    The Presidential Management Fellows, PMF, program is a prime example. I became finalist just for the hell of it, I applied for 10+- jobs. Still waiting for an interview.

  • #180922

    Earl Rice

    David, I was reading through and whole heartedly agree. But at least now days, people do say thank you for your service (always feel a bit embarrassed when they do though…I just look at it that I did what needed to be done, sometimes good, sometimes bad, but it just needed to be done at the time, and I won’t go into the morality). I remember in my youth after my first hitch, they didn’t say thank you. You were lucky if they said nothing, most of the time when someone did say something it was always a very negative context (still remember being called a baby killer). Thank God our country has grown out of that. And, most of the people here on Govloop were born 15 to 20 years or so after those times, so hopefully they weren’t taught such in college. So I am glad they say thank you, it’s a lot better than what they used to say a long time ago. And, there are a lot of things that can be done to help Veterans. Sometimes something as simple as picking up a Viet Nam Vets bill at a café when you see the 7th Cav crest on his jacket. And, when he thanks you, just say “Gary Owen” brother. I work at a VA Medical Center, and I see the aftermath of 4 different conflicts and numerous brush wars every day. And, every day I thank God that I was not affected like some of them.

    I look at it this way, I can’t change the world, but maybe I can just change a small corner of it. And, for the young folks here. If you are out and see a Vet, it doesn’t hurt you to maybe pick up the tab at a café, buy them a cup of coffee, or just tell them that you are grateful for what they did. And, if you take the time to talk to them, which more often than not is all they want, they all have a story of their life. A lot can be learned from those stories.

  • #180920

    David Dejewski

    Earl – it’s an honor. My Father-in-Law knew Hal Moore and several other notables personally. He was also a member of special forces with the hill tribes in Area C – three tours. Two tours in Korea before that.

    30+ years and full bird Colonel later, he didn’t slow down. He started and built his own company to 1400 employees, and touched the lives of thousands before he sold that project to a major brand name in DC.

    You’re right about the stories – and I’ll add “wisdoms” as a bonus. I’ve often said that I learned more from that man in five hours than I did in five years on the job.

    I know well the treasures that are forged in the hearts of men and women who have met life on its terms at its ends. I would love to see those treasures appreciated and made real here at home.

    Thanks, in my opinion, should be for more than just sticking our necks out or being prepared to do what no one else wants to. Thanks should be to the collective team for flexing human strength, ingenuity, and compassion past ordinary limits. They should be expressed through actions, more often and dramatically than by words.

    Exercise your rights to chose and decide how you will live. Don’t be content to let others take away your rights, pervert truths, or bend our society to selfish ends.

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
    – Edmund Burke

    I suppose I see the ongoing fight for our freedom playing out in the daily lives of ordinary citizens.

  • #180918

    David Dean

    I would like to see more young veterans employed by the federal government. As in other organizations 85% of federal jobs do not require college.

  • #180916

    Mark Hammer

    I’ve probably mentioned in past, that when a Clinton-era presidential commission on the under-representation of Hispanics in the federal public service was conducted, the report noted that something like 85% of Hispanic-Americans (at that time, at least) lived in the states where only 34% of the federal jobs were located**. Now, while people will relocate for work, not every manager has a budget to move a new hire. And some folks are in circumstances where they can’t really afford to relocate (try selling your home in Detroit, Vegas or Cleveland to move to NYC, or DC).

    I won’t make any assumptions about where vets are situated, other than that they are pretty much everywhere. And while you’re probably right that the lion’s share of federal positions don’t necessarily require more qualifications than the military did, one still has to be where the job is. If I was really desperate, I might be willing to take anything, but if I had a spouse and kid in Delaware, and was offered a border guard job in New Mexico or Texas, would I be champing at the bit? I don’t know.

    That’s not meant to be any sort of excuse. I’m just saying that the same way employment equity policies don’t easily solve that challenge, veteran’s preference doesn’t easily solve its challenge either. The reality is that, like it or not, geography poses a barrier to meeting some kinds of employment access objectives. Not insurmountable, and not carte blanche for not trying.

    **I will temper that by noting that a great many people do commute “interstate” on a daily basis – Fargo/Moorhead, the two Kansas Cities, the southern tip of lake Michigan, the tri-state area around NYC, etc. – so don’t let census head counts distract us from whether a job offer is nearby or not.

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