Today, November 11, is a day unlike any other. Veterans Day gives us all an opportunity to pause and appreciate the service and sacrifice of our nation’s veterans. To all the veterans across our nation—thank you.
In their own words, here are some thoughts about service, sacrifice, and Veterans Day from an assortment of veterans at McKinstry (seen above). This is their day, and we couldn’t be prouder to have these men and women on our team.
TJ Mulqueen, Commissioning Engineer, Portland
“I served as a Nuclear Trained Submarine Officer on the USS Alabama. I’ve been afforded a number of opportunities in my life by just being an American, and I wanted to give back.
On Veterans Day, I’d simply like to take a moment to remember those critical events in the past in which the military endured for the sake of our country and way of life. It’s important to acknowledge the sacrifices they made in our past, are making in our present, and will make in the future.
Soldiers and sailors aren’t robots who just follow orders. We’re living, breathing people that serve the country’s interests but also serve our communities across the U.S. The military wants committed individuals that think for themselves and for others.
It’s essential to remember those who have gone before us to protect freedom and democracy around the world.”
Dean Lee, Senior Facility Coordinator, Seattle
“I served on the USS Pennsylvania as a SONAR Technician—the eyes and ears of the submarine to safely navigate through the ocean. I was inspired to serve by 9/11 and the need to do something more than work on the family farm.
On Veterans Day, I’d encourage people to thank a vet for their service and know that the need to serve is still strong—we’re just looking for the right place to apply it to. For me, it’s a time to think about my shipmates and the fun times we had together in the fleet. Go Navy!”
Ed Rucker, Senior Account Executive, Phoenix
“I was a U.S. Army Combat Engineer, Tank Commander and Team Leader. I was inspired to serve my country for the experience and for the Army College Fund.
I think Veterans Day is so meaningful to those who’ve written the blank check to serve and protect our great nation and the liberties afforded to us. I’m forever grateful for the opportunity and grateful that my check didn’t get cashed. When you serve in the military for your country, you get to be part of a greater cause, a cause that most will never understand.
It’s difficult to explain what it’s like to sacrifice in a manner rarely visible in the daily lives of many Americans. You really develop a bond with your fellow servicemen/servicewomen and gain an appreciation for the Constitution & Bill of Rights.
Veteran Day is a day for me to reflect, thank everyone I can for their service, and—most importantly—offer respect and condolences to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
Stephanie Kahn, Safety Manager, Seattle
“I come from a family that believes in service. Both my grandfathers served in World War II, my dad was a Navy Commander, both of my brothers served, I was a Marine Supply Sergeant, my daughter just returned from serving overseas, and my son will serve too. In my family, we know firsthand that our collective liberty is secured by America’s armed forces—past, present, and future.
On Veterans Day, I’d ask that everyone support and remember our vets. Those who serve truly serve everyone, and we can’t take that for granted. Our military isn’t all about force—they do a tremendous amount of humanitarian work and make sure that people are safe around the world. What could be more important than that?”
Josh Bolton, Design Project Engineer, Portland
“I served in the Marine Corps as a Sergeant and a Military Working Dog Handler—working with both explosive and narcotic detection dogs. I deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 with the dog pictured, MWD Kaosz.
I was always fascinated and obsessed with the military growing up. Even as a 10-year-old, I remember watching the History Channel quite a bit and knowing I wanted to serve in the military. After 9/11, I was set on joining.
Almost everybody has a family member or friend that has served in the military. Military service is an honored tradition and valued part of our culture. It’s important for us as a nation to recognize those who have served, and especially those who answered the call to service when asked to do so by their country.
Veterans Day makes me appreciate being able to have taken part in something bigger than myself, rich in tradition and heritage, with some of the greatest individuals I’ve met. We served together, did our job together, fought blood, sweat, and tears together. We lost friends and were put in situations we could have never imagined. We saw the worst side of humanity and made it out with a unique and shared experience and perspective on life. Being able to share this with others throughout our history is very important and significant to me. I’m honored every day to feel this connection.”