Tag Archive for 'Veterans Day'

POLL RESULTS: Veteran’s Day is this week. Please let us know where you fall on this list.

The Question:

Veteran’s Day is this week. Please let us know where you fall on this list.

24% - I am a Veteran with active duty experience.
12% - I’m a Veteran with Guard/Reserve experience.
49% - I’m not a Veteran, but a close member of my family is.
15% - I’m not a Veteran and don’t have any in my close family.

Jim’s Comments:
As you can see, a little more than one-third of our respondents have military experience. This number will drop over time as the Baby Boomer generation shuffles off this mortal coil. Boomers are the last generation that came of age during the last military draft period and the Vietnam war, so their numbers are slanted toward military experience.
Around 1973 the U.S. transitioned to a volunteer military. It says a lot about the character of young Americans who have continued to enlist in service to a grateful nation, even in times of war. Clearly, when America needs defending from bad actors from within and from without, that defense is going to come from a smaller percentage of the population than ever before who are willing to stand a post as a volunteer.
Consequently, in the future, America will need to revere and support our veterans even more than in the past.
Thank you to all who have served.
Thanks for playing along. Please participate in this week’s poll below.
http://survey.constantcontact.com/poll/a07ebu97btmigy06nz6/start.html

On Veteran’s Day, let’s recognize all who served

Veterans Day has its origins in Armistice Day, which was first acknowledged by President Wilson in 1919. The first anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles took place “in the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.” Congress made Armistice Day a national holiday on November 11, 1938.

Alvin King, a small business owner in Emporia, Kansas, had a problem with Armistice Day. Al was so moved by the death of his nephew, John E. Cooper, who was killed in the Battle of the Bulge, during World War II that he, along with the Emporia Chamber of Commerce, started a movement to rename and redefine Armistice Day as Veterans Day. His goal was to expand the recognition beyond those who served in WWI. The idea caught on and President Eisenhower made Veterans Day official in 1954.

But who should be recognized on Veterans Day? If you’re looking for the definition of a military veteran, good luck. There are several variations on that theme, since the veteran universe is primarily associated with financial benefits. Consequently, the government has a lot at stake in the official definition.

The most common technical definition of a veteran is someone who served on active duty for more than six months while assigned to a regular U.S. armed services unit. But at least on Veterans Day, the case should be made for a practical definition. Adam Smith may have provided the first one in 1776.

In his seminal book, “Wealth of Nations,” Smith described America’s “Minuteman” militia as those who “. . . turn from their primary citizen character into a standing army.” These were just private citizens, many of whom today we would classify as small business owners and employees.

Even though many don’t qualify for the technical definition of a veteran, past and present members of our modern militia – Reserves and National Guard – deserve to be recognized on Veterans Day. For generations, this group has made themselves available to a grateful nation, not knowing if they would ever deploy. Indeed, John Cooper’s military service began as a member of Company B, 137th Infantry, Kansas National Guard.

Allow me to enter this practical definition of a veteran into the record, from an anonymous author:  “A Veteran – whether active duty, retired, National Guard or Reserve – is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a check made payable on demand to The United States of America, for an amount up to and including their life.”

America has received, held and cashed this “check” from different kinds of patriots who prepared themselves to be called to protect and defend their country.

Write this on a rock…Happy Veterans Day to all who made themselves available to a grateful nation.

Jim Blasingame is author of the award-winning book, The Age of the Customer: Prepare for the Moment of Relevance.

Freedom isn’t free

Photo courtesy of SmallBizTrends

Photo credit to SmallBizTrends.com

Contemplating the blessing of freedom, wherever it may be found, one prime truth is evident: Freedom is not free. And for those of us who are the beneficiaries of those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom, the only method of repayment — the only way we can ever be worthy of their sacrifice — is if we do all we can to maintain the freedom that has been paid for and given to us.

In honor of all of our veterans, past and present, I’d like to offer this poem written by Commander Kelly Strong, USCG (Ret.) in 1981 when he was a high school senior (JROTC cadet) at Homestead High School, Homestead, FL. It is a tribute to his father, a career marine who served two tours in Vietnam.

Freedom Isn’t Free

I watched the flag pass by one day.

It fluttered in the breeze.

A young Marine saluted it,

And then he stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform

So young, so tall, so proud,

With hair cut square and eyes alert

He’d stand out in any crowd.

I thought how many men like him

Had fallen through the years.

How many died on foreign soil?

How many mothers’ tears?

How many pilots’ planes shot down?

How many died at sea?

How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves?

No, freedom isn’t free.

I heard the sound of taps one night,

When everything was still

I listened to the bugler play

And felt a sudden chill.

I wondered just how many times

That taps had meant “Amen,”

When a flag had draped a coffin

Of a brother or a friend.

I thought of all the children,

Of the mothers and the wives,

Of fathers, sons and husbands

With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard

At the bottom of the sea

Of unmarked graves in Arlington.

No, freedom isn’t free.

My friends, I pray that we never forget those who paid so dearly for our freedom.  Have a safe, happy and respectful Veterans Day.

Thanks for being part of my community. I’ll see you on the radio and the Internet.

Video: Redefining the Title “Military Veteran”

In this week's video I talk about the evolving definition of a veteran.

Check out more of Jim’s great content HERE!

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Watch Jim’s videos HERE!

Recognizing ALL who served on Veterans Day

America’s first military, the “Minutemen” militia, were shopkeepers, craftsmen, farmers, etc. Today we call them small business owners, but they were our first veterans.

Defining a veteran today is more complicated because there are multiple uses of the term. The Veterans Administration understandably has a strict, technical definition because it’s responsible for dispersing VA benefits. The classic definition is someone who has served on active duty for more than six months. But what about the volunteer service of the National Guard and Reserves?

For decades, National Guard members and Reservists have been comprised of two groups – those who deploy for an extended period and those who prepared themselves for a deployment. And since the Minutemen, America’s small business owners have been included in these ranks. But the past 20 years have required an extra degree of commitment from them because of the increased likelihood that they may have to leave their businesses for a deployment, possibly more than once.

Since 1990, two developments have created new expectations for America’s Guard and Reserves: 1) Three Middle East conflicts – Desert Storm, the Iraq War and the Afghan War – have combined for 20 years of deployments so far; and 2) The increasing deployment expectations of Guard and Reserve units to augment declining regular armed forces numbers.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, the Guard and Reserves accounted for one-third of U.S. forces and a comparable percentage of casualties. Many of these patriots deployed two, three, or more times. The Rand Corporation reports, “Use of the Guard and Reserve has steadily increased since the first Gulf War and this trend is likely to continue.” Indeed, you can expect the efficiency of Guard and Reserve assets to figure even more heavily in America’s national security plans in the face of budget cuts due to sequestration.

So on this Veterans Day let’s honor all who have proudly volunteered to wear the uniform. This includes members of the Guard and Reserves who have deployed alongside the regular military, as well as those volunteers who did not deploy, but who for years, trained and made themselves available to be deployed as their country needed them.

In the modern age of American national defense, if you wore the uniform of any of the armed forces you deserve to be called a veteran and receive the gratitude and recognition of a grateful nation.

Happy Veteran Day to ALL who served.

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Be sure to check out my latest segment below from The Small Business Advocate Show® where I talk more about Redefining the Title “Military Veteran.”

Celebrating Veterans Day for ALL veterans

Check out more of Jim’s great content HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!

Watch Jim’s videos HERE!

Redefining the title “Military Veteran”

America’s first military, the “Minutemen” militia, were shopkeepers, craftsmen, farmers, etc. Today we call them small business owners, but they were our first veterans.

Defining a veteran today is more complicated because there are multiple uses of the term. The Veterans Administration understandably has a strict, technical definition because it’s responsible for dispersing VA benefits. The classic definition is someone who has served on active duty for more than six months. But what about the volunteer service of the National Guard and Reserves?

For decades, National Guard members and Reservists have been comprised of two groups – those who deploy for an extended period and those who prepared themselves for a deployment. And since the Minutemen, America’s small business owners have been included in these ranks. But the past 20 years have required an extra degree of commitment from them because of the increased likelihood that they may have to leave their businesses for a deployment, possibly more than once.

Since 1990, two developments have created new expectations for America’s Guard and Reserves: 1) Three Middle East conflicts – Desert Storm, the Iraq War and the Afghan War – have combined for 20 years of deployments, so far; and 2) The increasing deployment expectations of Guard and Reserve units to augment declining regular armed forces numbers.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, the Guard and Reserves have accounted for one-third of U.S. forces, and a comparable percentage of casualties. Many of these patriots have been deployed two, three or more times. The Rand Corporation reports, “Use of the Guard and Reserve has steadily increased since the first Gulf War and this trend is likely to continue.” Indeed, you can expect the efficiency of Guard and Reserve assets to figure even more heavily in America’s national security plans in the face of impending budget cuts.

So on this Veterans Day let’s honor all who have proudly volunteered to wear the uniform. This includes members of the Guard and Reserves who have deployed alongside the regular military, as well as those volunteers who weren’t deployed, but who trained and made themselves available to be deployed for years as their country needed them.

In the modern age of American national defense, if you wore the uniform of any of the armed forces you deserve to be called a veteran and receive the gratitude and recognition of a grateful nation.

It’s time to expand our definition of a veteran.

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Today on The Small Business Advocate Show I talked more about the role of National Guard and Reservists in preserving and protecting America’s liberty. Click here to download or listen.

Check out more great SBA content HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!

Watch Jim’s videos HERE!




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