Taking a Day to Remember Those Who Helped Us Get Where We Are

Less than one percent. That’s the percentage of U.S. citizens currently serving in the military. When you think about all that our military is responsible for and compare that with the miniscule portion of our population they represent it’s actually quite amazing. Today, we have members of our military on every continent and fighting in two major conflicts half a world away and this is far from uncommon. Americans in the military have been making extraordinary commitments and sacrifices since the inception of this great nation so it’s only fitting that we take a day to take a step back and honor those who have served.

The debt of gratitude we owe the long line of men and women that have served our country is quite literally immeasurable. The course of American history can be traced directly to those who stood up to defend their country, from winning its independence to fighting oppression poised to cross on to American shores. Today is no different. This generation of veterans has had to adapt to difficult and fluid missions as well as lengthy and frequent deployments – and most have done so knowing full well they would see combat. With this in mind, I would certainly have to agree with Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno when he characterizes today’s generation of veterans as the “next greatest generation.”

I’m proud to say at Dell we have been fortunate to have many of the men and women join our team who are part of the “next greatest generation” and served their country with pride, dignity and of course with honor. These men and women, like the others they served with, didn’t worry about weekends and at times, were lucky to have a roof over their heads. Through these difficult conditions they asked very little of anyone else, just for the opportunity to protect the country they love.

As important as it is to thank those who have served, we also need to days like Veterans Day to remind ourselves of what these men and women face every day and how we might be able to help. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries are very serious conditions more veterans than you might think are forced to deal with, but not something you hear about all that often. Many of the serious injuries sustained in combat are clearly visible, but some of the injuries you can’t see are just as significant but harder to recognize or diagnose. The traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress suffered by many of our combat troops can significantly affect them, and those around them, for the rest of their lives and yet many people are not aware of just how serious these issues are.

That, to me, is why days like this are so important – not only to remember, but to remind. Remembering the service these incredible men and women have given their nation – but also reminding the rest of us of the issues and obstacles many of them face.

So let’s take the opportunity, if not just today, to show those who have worn our nation’s uniform the appreciation they never ask for. Let’s also remind ourselves of what many of these men and women must deal with as a result of that services. With events in Round Rock, Nashville, Dallas and Pensacola we’re doing what we can to recognize those on the Dell team and elsewhere who have served in the U.S. military. I’d like to ask each of you to do the same and, in your own way, take time to thank someone who has served in the military and see if there is a way you can serve this community because I can assure of one thing – at some point they took the time to help you live the life you enjoy today.  

About the Author: Joe Ayers