Saluting our armed forces, including those from small business

Remarking on the devotion of his fighting men, Napoleon is supposed to have said, “A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon.”

He was talking about an idea, a concept, vision, belief system, anything that a person values more than his or her own convenience, safety and even that person’s very life.

The men and women who serve in the military of the United States do so because of devotion to what their country stands for, and hundreds of thousands of them are currently still in harm’s way in two different conflicts, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lately the news media has abandoned most of what our military is doing in these countries, for at least two reasons: 1) Economic challenges are more compelling than war these days; and 2) just as 10,000 planes landing safely doesn’t sell papers, at least in Iraq, the recent success of our military in helping this country claim self-determination and install a form of democracy is now tantamount to all those safe landings.

But make no mistake, our armed forces are risking their lives every day in official conflicts as well as engaging in the training that prepares them to pursue a military mission if and when their government calls.

Today, more Americans are associated with small business, as owners and employees, than ever before. And since our global military commitments are increasingly being delivered by citizen-soldiers in the National Guard and Reserves, it follows that small business people are increasingly inconveniencing themselves on behalf of their country at the minimum and experiencing a high casualty rate at the maximum.

So, on behalf of all of America’s men and women in our armed services, not especially, but absolutely including our small business brothers and sisters, let’s all take a moment to stand erect, heels locked, chest and jaw out, and salute these 21st century heroes. Because when their country needed them, they said, “Send me!” And so they went. And so they still go.

Recently, on my small business radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, I talked about these special Americans. I hope you’ll take 6 minutes to listen to my thoughts and please, feel free to leave yours.

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