Watch a recent interview on WGBY-TV with 7 Eagle Group team member founder Jordie Kern and Talent Acquisition Manager, Susie McCrea.
October 5, 2017: Advanced Manufacturing
Connecting Manufacturers With America’s Military Veterans
WHY WE HELP VETERANS
The speech below was so eloquently delivered by Colonel James J. Keefe, Commander, 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes Air National Guard Base, Westfield, MA, at the Pioneer Valley USO 2016 Veteran’s Day event. It sums up why everyone at 7 Eagle Group has dedicated their lives to helping our brave servicemen and women land great jobs. The speech includes remarks from the 2016 Department of Defense/U.S. Army standardized Veteran’s Day speech.
Thank you for joining me today. It’s my privilege to be here to honor a very special group of people – America’s Veterans.
Today, all across our country – in Town Halls, City Squares, parades and places such as this – we celebrate and honor America’s veterans for their devotion, patriotism, and selfless service on behalf of us all.
We join hands – in the name of peace and freedom – to pay them proper tribute…to say “thanks.” For it is their loyalty to their country, and their own great courage, which have made us what we are today – and what we’ve been for more than two centuries: The world’s Indispensable Nation…the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave…a beacon of hope in an oft-troubled world.
Regardless of which branch of the military our Veterans have served in – the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard – this day belongs to all of them, just as it belongs to the vast generations of patriots who came before them.
From the Nation’s First Muster in 1636 by the original three militia companies of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the forerunner of our modern day National Guard…to today’s warriors…turning back aggression around the world…the line of Americans willing to risk their lives for this land, and the principles for which it stands, is long and never-ending. Each of them is part of our military’s patriotic legacy.
They have served with honor and with dignity. They have served in different places and in different ways, but serve they have. They have not only fought our wars, but also preserved the peace… in faraway lands and on the home front. They have lived uncommon lives under a common banner: a love of country and service to their fellow man…to protect our founding ideas of freedom.
It is therefore fitting that we pause as a nation – as a people – to recognize their service and sacrifices.
President Calvin Coolidge said long ago, “The nation which forgets its defenders…will itself be forgotten.” Well, America doesn’t have that problem. Your attendance here today is proof of that. We will never forget our Veterans…nor will we ever forget our POWs and MIAs…who have yet to be accounted for. This is the solemn promise of a grateful nation.
I might also add that we will never forget the families of those Veteran’s either…for they too, have served and sacrificed, and deserve our thanks and admiration.
As many of you know, we celebrate Veterans Day on the anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. The “War to End All Wars” as it was ironically known. On the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month, the battlefields of war-torn Europe fell silent as more than four years of immense destruction came to an end.
Unfortunately for us all, that silence was short lived. In the intervening years we witnessed another World War, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, a Cold War, the Gulf War, and a protracted Global War on Terrorism, which is being fought as we speak by our military forces around the globe. But, just as fortunately, in every case, whenever freedom was threatened, gallant men and women have risked and sometimes given their lives by donning the cloth of this great nation. It’s what has always made America exceptional: the generations of patriots who dedicated themselves to the defense of the United States and our freedoms.
At times of great peril, our Veterans have kept the faith. They have kept us free and enabled America to keep faith with the rest of the world. That’s why I’m so pleased to be with you today to honor their faithful service and to renew, reaffirm, and to rededicate our commitment to keeping faith with them.
I once read a proclamation that said America must ensure that the freedoms our Veterans helped to preserve…and the Nation they fought to defend…is safe and secure for future generations of Americans. I could not agree more.
One of the ways we honor this is to ensure our forces are well trained, manned, and equipped to meet the global security challenges that threaten our National Security. We as a nation must also insure that those we send into harm’s way are not only the best trained force on the battlefield, but also the best equipped. That is one of the costs of freedom.
While no right-thinking person wants war, we believe that our ready and resilient American Armed Forces are the best chance for world peace. After all, it was our First Commanding General, George Washington, who said, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.”
We are therefore committed to building and maintaining an agile, adaptive, military force that can deter or defeat any aggressors, in any domain. We must – and we will – always be ready to fight and win wars if required to do so. Whether it be over the land, on the seas, in the air, in space or on the cyber battlefield, America’s military is committed to winning.
It’s a demanding challenge to be sure, but it’s how we keep faith with those Veterans who have gone before us.
At the same time, we must also remain committed to the lifelong success of our Veterans and their families…by continuing to provide them access to employment opportunities, education, and health care…both during and after their military service. Tributes like this can ring hollow if we as a Nation don’t take the necessary actions to ensure Veterans have access to the care and resources they not only deserve…but have rightfully earned.
Initiatives such as “Hire a Hero”, “Soldier for Life” and “Troops to Teachers”, are programs that support Veterans by connecting civilian industry and educational institutions with transitioning Veterans and their families. National companies have committed to hiring and training tens of thousands of Veterans and their spouses or domestic partners through these programs. Many other similar initiatives exist throughout our armed services, federal and state veteran agencies, and industry partners. And it’s having a positive impact on our veterans and how they are viewed by our citizens. It’s how we pay our debt to those who have given so much for our freedoms.
Our veterans are not just gun slingers or fighter jocks – though they are pretty good at that too. They are highly-qualified men and women with the knowledge, skills, and attributes to get any job done. They are some of the most talented, dedicated, and capable professionals in the world…and when they leave our ranks they take with them the experience gained from leading people, dealing with high stress – high risk situations…and mastering technical skills.
Right now, around our country, Veterans serve as teachers, doctors, engineers, social workers, community leaders, first responders and elected officials. They continue to serve this country – this community – by making positive impacts, building stronger futures and inspiring future generations to come. That’s as it should be. And we have a duty to support them.
All Americans are charged with the responsibility to ensure the service and sacrifices of all our Veterans are not forgotten, but continuously echoed in our respective communities and across the nation.
There’s a saying that goes, “Our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen are not in the Military…they are the Military.” I couldn’t agree more. Our tanks, ships, Fighter Jets, helicopters, rifles and howitzers are all nothing without the dedicated, trusted professionals who make them work. And those Veterans who used these tools to protect our freedoms are a direct reflection of what’s best about America. In fact, they are America. They are the heart, the soul, and the spirit of the greatest Nation on the planet.
Thank you all for inviting me here today. And thank you for helping make this day special for our Veterans…Happy Veterans Day to all of you.