Veterans Day 2013

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in skmurphy

“I think that you can honor the sacrifices of a common soldier without glorifying war.”
Geraldine Brooks

I had an epiphany the other day that my father, uncles, and several cousins had fought in WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Kosovo, Iraq, and a few other places and times to protect their families and friends and the American way of life. I can’t imagine what that felt like, although I am grateful for their service and what it made possible.

I cannot imagine the uncertainty and chaos of a battlefield (or in my father’s case, riding a submarine in a naval battle). It’s a depth marker for what constitutes a truly serious emergency.

I worked with a sales manager once who was unflappable. We had a meeting with a customer who was irate and I was very anxious about the meeting. I asked him how he stayed calm. He said “I don’t think you know this about me: I flew fighter combat missions in Vietnam. I know what real trouble looks like and how important it is to stay in the moment and not worry about what might happen.”

“Today is Veterans Day, the day we honor those who have served in the military and lived. Memorial Day is the day we honor those who died while serving in the military. While that seems like a big difference, the reality is that chance plays a huge role in which soldiers live and which soldiers die. So to all you veterans out there, thanks for the willingness to put your life on the line for all the things I hold dear.”
Kevin Murphy “Veterans Day

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Comments (1)

  • steve wasiura

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    Excellent quotes!

    Although in business we often speak of competition as “Fighting an enemy”, it is nothing like the horrors of war.

    I just read a graphic novel on The Battle of Gettysburg by Wayne Vansant, and pondered in dis-belief how difficult it was to fight in open field skirmishes 30 yards away from the enemy lines, without any of the technology we have in our current time period. Most of those soldiers went into battle with the knowledge that they would probably die, but they did it based on a pride and belief in their cause. Hence the power of your business’s mission. Now contrast that to how many of us wannabe Entrepreneurs are afraid to get face to face with a lead / prospect to do customer discovery.

    I also realized that i thought the civil war was insensible that the same country was fighting itself, until I realized much of the same conflict is still happening today, within our borders. Rich against poor, conservative against progressive, skin color against skin color. It’s all one person’s ideals versus another person’s ideals, passed down from generation to generation.

    I hope before my lifetime is over, we will see a larger quantity of Entrepreneurs inventing companies to address more of the social and psychological evils that affect our world. I know it is happening in small numbers now, electric cars, safe drinking water, intelligent online debate, etc. But I still dream of a better future world, and I guess that is the fire inside which keeps founders / dreamers going forward.

    Reply

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