Saluting Veterans' Honor, Dedication and Integrity

2d4a371176affa0db304_559139_10150650171343178_1412679364_n.jpg
Credits: www.facebook.com/VeteransAffairs/photos
2d4a371176affa0db304_559139_10150650171343178_1412679364_n.jpg
Editor's Note:  The following remarks were delivered by Summit Common Council member Pat Hurley at the St. Teresa Veteran's Day Concert, 2014.  TAP into Summit offers them as a tribute to our men and women in uniform currently serving our country, to those who have honorably served before them, and to all those -- and their families -- who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom.

"My name is Pat Hurley. I am a member of this parish, a member of Summit Common Council, and a U.S. Navy veteran. Last year I had the honor of speaking at this event and I am honored to be back here again this year.  It's great to be part of a parish that, each year, honors its veterans in a way very few places do anymore and a parish that actually has a veteran as its pastor. 

Last year, I spoke about my personal journey that took me from this very altar as a newly married Navy Ensign, to Navy flight school, to the first Persian Gulf War and, ultimately, back to Summit, and St. Teresa’s, where my wife and I have lived for the last nineteen years and raised our four children. Today, I’d like to speak about our veterans, who they are and what they mean to us.

Nobody enters the journey of military service knowing where it will lead.  But, they do know, or quickly learn, the almost super-human characteristics of impeccable honor and integrity, built upon an unwavering faith in God, are the best way to ensure their survival and, more importantly, the survival of their brothers and sisters in arms.

Modern society often has a hard time understanding their dedication to honor and integrity, even to the point where they dismiss it as military arrogance or even ignorance. But it is neither of these - Whether they are a Corporal or a Colonel, an Airman or an Admiral, they are extremely intelligent and capable young men and women who are forced, everyday, to live in terms of life and death in a dangerous and confusing world. Just take a moment and think about the life each of our service members has chosen. Think about, if, every day you woke up, and had to wonder if you would live to see the next sunrise. For most of us, it never crosses our mind. But for them it is a way of life, every hour, of every day.

And, then, are their families back home. This is a human side of military service most of us, unless you’ve lived it, will never fully understand. We often forget for every young man lost, there is usually a wife or fiancé whose life and dreams have been crushed. For every young woman lost, there is someone back home who has just lost the love of his life. And for both, more often than not, there are children who will never see their mother or father again.

Somewhere, at some time, today or tomorrow in North Carolina, the young wife of a deployed U.S. Marine will freeze in panic at the site of an official vehicle driving by her house, praying it will pass her by and hoping her children don’t sense her fear. Somewhere at sometime today or tomorrow, a Navy SEAL in his early twenties will be stepping out of the back of an airplane over, 20,000 feet in the air, after just receiving word his three year old son is at an emergency room in California with a fever of 105. Somewhere at some time, today or tomorrow, an exhausted Navy pilot will wrestle his crippled helicopter back on the pitching deck of a guided missile cruiser, in the middle of the Persian Gulf, in the black of night, after having just experience a flight control malfunction, while his daughter, back home in Virginia Beach, is at pre-school struggling to think about a Christmas without him.
 
These are the lives they’ve chosen, these are the lives their families were given. But, despite being a nation that has been at war for the last thirteen years, the percentage of our population that has served in the military is near an all-time low. Too much of society, it is a mystery who these heroes really are. Yet they possess attributes long lost in parts of American society.

In civilian terms, they are experts in logistics, project management, people management and financial management with a proficiency that rivals any corporate CEO anywhere in the world. But, above all else they are leaders whose skills were honed and perfected in an industry where success was measured not in terms of profit and loss but in terms of life and death. And, they are driven by, above all else, the deepest sense of personal honor and integrity, possessing character that seems all almost completely lost in today’s corporate world.

They make smart, competent and loyal friends and employees, but they follow a warrior’s ethos that is sometimes hard to understand. They are tough, outspoken and believe leaders should be held fully accountable for the performance of the organizations they lead. As managers they will celebrate the success of those who work for them while refusing to take any personal credit. They will rarely, if ever, engage in firings and lay-offs as a way to cut expenses or increase profits. They will never see themselves as just a manager, but rather as a leader who is responsible for the safety and well-being of not just every person who works under them but for their families too.

They are accountable, they expect to win, and expect perfection because, for them, the consequences of losing are too severe and quite possibly fatal. They have seen evil and had, and in many cases used, the power to kill at a young age. They’ve seen the dark side of humanity and the pain and suffering it causes to the innocent and, thus, they possess empathy and a willingness to forgive that will never be known to, and rarely understood by, those who have never served. 

And, they are fiercely protective of their families, their wives, their husbands and their children, knowing the long term affects combat deployments have had on those they left behind. The intense fear, felt every day, fear of getting that phone call, or hearing that knock at the door. While they joined to defend the values of liberty and religious freedom, they fought for one reason – to return to the ones they love.

And yet, despite representing what American should be, and what it can be, they often find themselves for months, years and even decades, struggling to survive in the America that is. As a small minority in a society that often seems to be embracing different values, or no values at all, they are also vulnerable. Veteran rates of suicide, homelessness and unemployment are at all-time highs and in many cases, they desperately need the help of those who do understand, or seek to understand, such as all of you gathered here today. Events like this mean so much to veterans and, speaking on behalf of veterans everywhere today, mean so much to me personally and to my family. So, I thank you, on behalf of all of us, from the bottom of my heart. God Bless you and God Bless America."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Summit

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_92eaadab4fea5d764092_edc2dcd4802a1c409d7c_screen_shot_2018-04-03_at_1.15.57_pm

Sun, July 15, 8:00 AM

Summit Summer Farmers Market, Summit

Summit Farmers Market

Community Calendar Food & Drink Green Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_b7bf86ab9b5cba4793d9_347facfa8ac6817752ac_19055513_10158829487705483_8854478692329281822_o

Mon, July 16, 7:45 AM

17 Kent Place Boulevard, Summit

Monday Morning Yoga

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_853ad44352ad0d7a20fb_4176eecd68408537fa8d_5b6b28c2bc2abcf059dd_fencer_film

Mon, July 16, 6:30 PM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

Film: The Fencer

Arts & Entertainment

Summit Police Blotter

July 9, 2018

6/19 - Peter Ferguson, 31, of New York, New York was arrested on a contempt of court warrant out of Point Pleasant Beach. Mr. Ferguson posted bail and was provided a new court date.

6/22 - At 1552 hours a report was taken for a theft of one thousand (1,000) mops from Overlook Hospital. The reporting individual indicated the theft occurred between 6/10 and 6/21. Taken from a storage area ...

Video: Point View's Dietze Says Trade Tensions 'Weigh Heavily' on Investors' Minds

July 13, 2018

Point View Wealth Management Founder, President and Chief Investment Strategist, David Dietze, live on BNN/Bloomberg on how the trade wars are impacting the stock market:

ptview.com/medias/tv-radio

​​​​For more than 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been working with families in Summit and beyond, providing customized portfolio management services and ...

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey

How often do you read TAPinto?  Have you downloaded the TAPinto APP?  These are a few of the questions for readers in our 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

We want to hear from you!

The survey will take less than five minutes to complete and will help TAPinto better serve you. 

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

Thank you.  We appreciate your support and ...

Fear of Rising Rates? Remember The Reason You Own Bonds

If the current interest environment has you concerned about your bond portfolio, remember why you are investing in bonds.  The role bonds, or fixed income, play in a portfolio is not solely based on performance.  Bonds are used to offer stability, particularly when stock market volatility is rising. Rate hikes can dampen bond performance, but keep perspective on how rising rates impact ...

Are You Ready for Your Child to Turn 18?

If your son or daughter is turning 18, here are a few things you need to know:

If you have an UGMA/UTMA savings account for your child, did you know those assets are his/her legal property and once that instrument matures (most often 21 years old or 18, if you designated that at time of account creation), those assets are at your child’s disposal with no restrictions or ...

Extra Time

It was close to 70 minutes into the match and I had to go to the bathroom.  Badly.

As fans watching the World Cup know too well, bathroom breaks are a serious dilemma, especially for those who don’t have a TV in the loo.  This biological necessity is exasperated by beer, which during World Cup matches also fuels a strong propensity to throw chairs and instigate riots.