Always Grateful and Humbled
from SGM (Ret) Brendan “Duke” Durkan
President, Hardrock Charlie Foundation
As we look ahead…in our midst is Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Day. I, and many others, would say, “Every day is Veterans Day”…and each day we can find many things to be thankful for! “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”
Veterans Day is a time for us to pay our respects to those who have served. On this one day, we stand united in respect to all of our Veterans. But we hold dear this holiday as it started as a day to reflect upon the heroism of those who died in our country’s service…and it was originally called Armistice Day…the day that marked the end of World War I…formally recognized on the “11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month” in 1918. It fell on November 11th because that is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War I. However, in 1954, the holiday was changed to “Veterans Day” in order to account for all Veterans of all wars.
Here’s the “so what”…it may be cold and cruel, but once again this is why the Hardrock Charlie Foundation has bestowed upon you our compass to navigate your way “Home.”
Many will say, “Thank you for your service” and I admit that they are generally sincere, yet they don’t know what more to say because what you have lived and experienced is foreign to them. I honestly believe that they try…even though most people don’t and will never know…no matter how hard one might try.
Try to be humble and not get upset when someone says, “Happy Memorial Day” either. We all know, and that’s okay! My personal challenge to each one of us is to coach, teach, and mentor…as those we revered before us did with you and me.
Honor our Veterans and remember those who are no longer with us. We all have many days which hit home for us when we lost those whom we served with, loved, and now miss. As time goes by with each passing year, it could probably fill up a calendar.
Now to bring the “why.” We all have so much to be thankful for…always grateful and humbled more than most I have ever met in my short, yet sweet life, spent with my Brothers and our family. These are not easy times, especially during the upcoming holidays. One might say that those days under fire could not last forever, but the relationships and memories we’ve created with the Rangers and Veterans last forever and for this, we should always give thanks.
From the Hardrock Charlie Foundation, we thank you for the sacrifices you and your families are making and have made for each other and our great nation. Our Veterans have taught us that no matter what our positions may be on policy, as Americans and Patriots, we must support all of our Soldiers with our thoughts and our prayers.
As we gather, remember, and treasure each precious memory…our best days are still ahead. We will always have our Brotherhood. The most we can do for ourselves and those we love is to stay in the present, and show up every single day as we did for our Brothers…because right now is what matters most.
Happy Veterans Day and a very Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family, loved ones, and cherished friends…may all of us be blessed, remain grateful, and always humble.
Raise your glass and give a toast ~ lest we forget!