Honoring, Remembering, and Serving- What Memorial Day Means to Me

Memorial Day weekend is many things…To my incredibly wonderful six-year-old, it’s “the time all the things open up that were closed all winter, like the pool.”  Memorial Day is certainly a time for family and friends.  As a veteran, Memorial Day is also a time of personal reflection- a time to remember those who we’ve served with and lost along the way.  I also believe it’s a time to re-dedicate ourselves to a mission- a commitment that honors those sacrifices.   While I no longer serve in uniform, I hope to have the opportunity to support those who do.  And that’s the reason I’m honored to serve here at SHRM as the Director of Social Media. 

My time in the Army taught me that the most precious resource of all are people.  Whether leading or following, serving overseas or at home, a collective understanding of “Mission First, People Always” was instilled in all of us.  Taking care of the soldier was always priority one.   In my time here at SHRM- interviewing, onboarding and working with our leadership- I’ve seen that same spirit of commitment and vision.  In my role as Director of Social Media, I’ve also seen how passionately committed so many of you are to your profession of human resource management.  Your dedication is something that’s both admirable and honorable.  One clear example of this are the partnerships and programs that support so many of our transitioning veterans - people just like me.

During the last decade, millions of Americans, and so many private and public sector organizations, have supported today’s generation of veterans and their families.  I’m personally humbled by the immeasurable acts of kindness and support we veterans have experienced.  Now, however, as tens of thousands of veterans’ transition back to communities across America we must continue to support their workforce needs in a sustainable way. 

From SHRM California’s “We All Serve” initiative to Florida’s Miami chapter educating HR professionals on the unique skills and needs of transitioning veterans, SHRM has partnered with both the public and private sector in support of these veteran-focused efforts across the country.  And while helping veterans translate their hard-earned skills and find good jobs is important, many of these initiatives get to the challenge of supporting the longer-term goals of our veterans and their families as they transition to communities across America.  Whether educating employers, or empowering HR professionals with tools and training to support the unique needs of our veterans, these are the programs that will make a lasting difference.  HR professionals, in companies big and small, are, and will continue to be, on the front lines of changing lives and giving veterans opportunities to serve long after their mission in uniform is complete.  And for that I want to thank all of you for what you do! 

I am a veteran, a communicator, and a proud member of the team here at SHRM.  I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve and support so many important workforce-initiatives alongside of a talented and committed team of folks across my organization.  And, on this Memorial Day, as I reflect on the sacrifices of many friends I’ve served with, I hope to honor their memory through my continued commitment to the principles of “Mission first, people always!”


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