This week, we commemorate Veterans Day. There is a popular meme on social media that I think pretty accurately sums up why it is important that we as a nation pause to honor our veterans. It says: “What is a veteran? A veteran – whether active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve – is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America for an amount up to and including his or her life.” That’s pretty powerful.
November 11 is about Americans showing our gratitude for our veterans for all they do to help ensure our freedoms and way of life. I was never in the military, but my father was. His service to our nation makes military service and the inherent sacrifice required of service members that much more personal for me.
I’d like to start by recognizing those who are part of our team here at S&T. I take great pride in knowing we have many veterans in our ranks – just over 30 percent of our entire civilian workforce, in fact.
Let me break it down a little more. More than 14 percent served; 16 percent are retired, and we even have a couple National Guard and Reserve service members still serving. S&T isn’t a big organization—we have just under 500 people—so these numbers are significant for us.
The skills they bring, learned from their military service, are invaluable to this organization. From leadership to their focus on mission accomplishment, to technical skills and training, and their operational experience, they bring a ‘boots on the ground’ mentality that ensures our research and development reflects an accurate security picture.
On behalf of the entire S&T team, I want to thank these men and women for their service to our nation in uniform, and for their continued service and dedication to the safety and security of our nation as a member of S&T. They chose to serve, not once, but many times over. I am honored to work beside them every day.
I hope everyone reading this will join me in thanking our veterans this November 11. Please, shake their hand and acknowledge their service. They absolutely deserve it.