2017-11-10 / Viewpoint

Being thankful and looking for the yes ...


Metro Creative Connection graphic Metro Creative Connection graphic Thanksgiving is almost here and what better time to reflect on the good things in life.

For me, it is a no-brainer. I have been lucky and happy most of my life. I am fortunate enough to have some great mentors and leaders. It was not coincidence that I came into contact with them, and many great learning opportunities via the military.

One of the things my father, a World War II Veteran, taught me was to look for the yes in life.

“When you are faced with a challenge or request, spend time looking for a way to say yes to folks and situations presented you. This doesn’t mean you are a yes-man, it just means you are using a positive thought process to solve problems,” he said.

And if you look at our collective military life as active troops, retirees and DoD civilians – there is a lot of yes in our lives.

Just look around Fort Gordon.

Day after day, the men and women who live and work here show again and again that we are more than just a collection of people temporarily assembled for the purposes of fulfilling a military assignment. We are a real community – friends and neighbors, working toward a common goal, taking care of one another and contributing toward the greater good.

We have systems that supports many of our needs such as health care, family support systems and a plethora of shopping opportunities. These are service wide examples of the Yes that we are afforded on a daily basis.

What other company or agency affords its employees such complete life style amenities and services? It is a system that abounds with yes. Often, the research in many of the areas of military benefits our community first and then finds its way into the civilian world.

There is evidence of the yes around us. I have collected it during the nearly 40 years of being in and around the Army. The benefits are immense and constantly evolving with our needs.

Active Servicemembers have access to a 20-year retirement system. Troops and civilians have a versatile Thrift Savings Plan as well as robust health care plans and provider systems. Military and DoD civilians have travel and lodging opportunities in states across the U.S. and in several foreign countries. These lodging sources are often on secure bases generally free from challenges found outside those bases. Military and its retirees can catch space available flights for destinations worldwide. These flights are low cost or free.

On Fort Gordon, we have a garrison command that ensures our infrastructure is robust and modern; evolving and improving. We have our own police and fire services and a system is set to warn us of potential weather or other emergencies.

These are just a few examples of the yes in our daily lives. Where can you find a company or agency that abounds with so many employment benefits and positive opportunities?

I’ll be the first to admit, it’s not an easy life with the military, but, it is rewarding and there is much for which to be grateful.

Let’s be thankful for each other and for Fort Gordon, the place and system that brings us together this holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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