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As I sit here trying to write this blog post, I can’t help but ask myself, “how do you even begin to express the amount of appreciation our veteran’s deserve?” The only conclusion I can come to is that it is impossible. But, it never hurts to try. Our veteran’s offered to sacrifice everything in order to provide us all of the freedoms we enjoy. Many did sacrifice everything. Of course, I don’t mean to be cliché but it’s very easy to forget the tremendous service they provided with little fanfare. I, personally, am fortunate to have several close family and friends who served or are currently serving our nations military. I am proud to be able to say my father served as a Marine and his father before him also served. On my mother’s side, I was always fascinated by the occasional stories told by my other grandfather about the Korean War. Stories that very much still affect him to this day, over 60 years later, via his hearing impairment. My close friend, Jesse Benson (who we will hear from later), also currently serves in the Air National Guard. None of these people ever asked for anything in return. If anything, they shy away from any attention given to them because of their service. The only thing I can say in this moment to all of those people: I appreciate you. Thank you for your service.
To honor our veterans, Serif asked some of its clients, partners and friends to share something with us about Veteran’s Day. We asked them to personalize it in whatever way they want. Below are their responses (thank you to everyone who participated!). It’s a longer read but I highly recommend reading every response.
D.C. Joseph, Principal – Serif Creative
Veteran’s day is always a special day for me because it gives me an opportunity to honor heroes. I have many clients, friends, and family who have served our country and I’m thankful for their service and sacrifices they have made. I want to publicly thank the following heroes who have served our country:
Love you guys.
Benjamin Howes, Lead Copywriter – Serif Creative, Principal Graphic Designer – Benjamin Howes Design
My dad has it now. A German Luger absconded from the belt of a dead Nazi officer by my grandfather in the aftermath of the Battle of the Bulge. He was a staff sergeant responsible for setting up the telephone lines prior to battle. He was also a soldier and his wool olive drab was stained red in sections by enemy blood. My grandfather always paid the price of war, although he never talked about it. The battlefield haunted him throughout the remainder of his life, appearing sometimes as crippling depression and other times as the driving creative force that pushed him out of that darkness. War is a baptism of blood. Once submerged, the soldier is born again from out of the womb of innocence a new creation. War itself is the greatest enemy, for it rages against fathers, husbands, mothers, wives, sons and daughters from every expanse of the globe without discretion. It’s times like this that we honor the heroes, like my grandfather, who selflessly took up the mantle of freedom and fought their own endless private battles as a consequence. May we never forget that our freedom is borne from a field of blood, and that sacrifice built and lit the pyre of liberty. To the countless thousands upon thousands who have kept that fire burning, we thank you.
Eric Bisignano, CPA, Owner – Charitax Accounting
Before I started my accounting practice, I worked for the Pentagon for almost a decade. I’ve had the privilege of knowing some really great veterans as a result. It’s not a career I’d ever choose but I have great respect for veterans and their families. I’ve heard plenty of courageous stories from veteran colleagues and friends, and I’ve witnessed the dedication and excellence of those serving during my tenure with the DOD. All have instilled a great sense of reverence for what they do for all Americans.
Shout-out to my brother and veteran, Wes, who was a seamen aboard the U.S.S. Cowpens during the initial attacks of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Sarah Logar, Marketing Specialist – Mid-City Electric
To me, Veterans Day means thank you—thank you to all of the men and women who have served, and are currently serving, our country. I am so grateful for the brave soldiers who protect our country and our rights every day. And I have so much respect for their families—their children, spouses, and parents—who provide them the support they need to do so. All of these people really are heroes. Veterans Day is a time to stop and think about how their dedication to our country allows us to live freely and happily.
Dan Parsons, Lead Cinematographer – Serif Creative
For many years, when I thought of the sacrifice made by American service men and women, it was the “ultimate sacrifice” that quickly came to mind – the thought of how many have paid with their very lives to ensure the freedom and way of life that I have come to know and enjoy. Since becoming a father several years ago, I have noticed that my view of sacrifice is perhaps even more sharply tuned to the “living sacrifice” made by those individuals and families who daily sacrifice their lives by living out their service and commitment to protect and defend our American freedom and way of life.
These words are simple and hardly seem adequate, but to American service men and women: “Thank you” for who you are and for what you do to protect and defend our country. To my “thank you” I add this tangible sign of honor to you – that I will live the life of a fully present husband and father knowing that many of you find yourselves doing the same though challenged by geography.
Kerry Smith, Owner/Artist – Full Face Artistry
What Veteran’s Day means to me is freedom, gratitude and sacrifice, are just a few words that come to mind.
I am grateful for those who served/serve our country and protect us so we are afforded the things we
are able to do in our country freely. I personally know several people who have served. The bravery and drive these men and women have is indescribable and they’re all selfless.
One man in particular whom I met this past August really struck a chord with me. I was on a shoot with Serif at IncludeFitness. A company that designed a piece of gym equipment geared towards those who have certain physical challenges. We interviewed three or four people the day I was there. The man who was there to share his story and how this piece of equipment has and will help him was the most amazing person. He was kind, energetic, hysterically funny and a true hero. The stories he told left me speechless; gave me chills personally. He doesn’t take his physical challenges too seriously and I believe that keeps him going. It surely kept him alive when he shouldn’t have been years ago back in Vietnam, I believe he said. He had a family back home waiting and he wasn’t about to leave them behind, as he put it. I could’ve listened to him talk for hours and hours. What an eye opener he was and I am truly grateful for his service and amazing outlook on life. I feel lucky to have met him that day and others like him.
There isn’t anything else like America and I’m so grateful to be born and raised here.
Adam Brigham, Creative Partner – Serif Creative
The movie ended and the lights were brought up, but the theater still remained completely silent. No one moved or said a word, until after a few minutes, when people began to slowly trickle out. The whole way home I walked in silence, tears quietly streaming down my face. When one of my friends asked what I thought, I simply replied, “I’m sorry, I can’t talk about it right now.” I was so moved that I couldn’t even express how the movie made me feel, an odd experience for a filmmaker. As I later reflected on the story of Chris Kyle in American Sniper, I began to understand why I was so shaken that night. I could never imagine myself doing the things that our soldiers do every day. I thought to myself, “I couldn’t do it. I don’t have the courage.” How is it that someone would be willing to put their life at risk, to experience the most intense of horrors, to leave their brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, wives and husbands, to miss the birth of their children, for me? Too many Americans exhaust their existence running down the road of self, and yet there are still the few who, with open arms, offer everything they have. I wish so desperately to express the depth to which my thankfulness for the sacrifice of so many brave men and women runs, but it always seems to fall short. Maybe that’s why American Sniper was so profound, because my inadequacy to relate with the experiences of our veterans was so fully exposed. I may never be able to understand all that is given on the battlefield, and in some ways pray I never do. I am thankful for those who have suffered to protect me from suffering, who are strong where I am weak, who lay down their lives that I might keep mine. Jesus says in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” How much greater than are the sacrifices made for complete strangers. We are each given only one life, thank you to those who have chosen to give theirs. Thank you Veterans.
Jesse Benson, Air National Guard
Freedom is the greatest concept ever verbalized by mankind; yet, it has enjoyed limited utilization throughout human history. In the past, war fighters have fought in defense of crowns and dictators, but American war fighters have the privilege to fight for and defend freedom.
Freedom is a catalyst for greatness, as proven by the American experiment. In the last 240 years the whole of human civilization has benefited from the freedom Americans enjoy. We have been the tip of the spear for almost every significant scientific and medical discovery since our inception, we defend the weak from tyranny, we destroy terrorism wherever we encounter it, and we stand as a beacon of hope for oppressed peoples the world over. This is because Americans have been addicted to freedom since their first taste in 1776, and it’s a habit we don’t intend to kick.
Veteran’s day is a day to ruminate on these ideas and enjoy our many personal freedoms that are defended daily by the brave men and women in our country’s service. We and the world at large owe these people our respect and admiration; our freedoms and our lives have been delivered on their backs and written in their blood.
Everyone shows their appreciation in different ways. Whether it’s a simple, “thank you,” or even just enjoying the freedoms given to you by these brave men and women, be sure to take a moment to reflect on what they truly did for you.
Our friends over at the Chamber of Commerce have a great resource to help businesses hire veterans. Find it here.
I also recommend reading last year’s Veteran’s Day blog post, written by our Jesse Benson. Find it here.