After graduating from Texas A&M in 1998, I joined the United States Marine Corps. I wanted to serve my country, to defend freedom around the world, and, most of all, to do what was right. Over the years, I was able to do all of those things and more; I saw the world and learned how other people lived, watched leaders emerge from every background, and faced some of the harshest realities imaginable. The Marine Corps made me a better man, husband, father, friend, and brother and who would want to let go of that? I suppose that’s why I choose to continue my service in the USMC Reserves, just not ready to leave.
For more than 20 years, people have thanked me for my service and it’s always left me feeling a bit self-conscious. I never considered wearing the title of Marine for recognition or gratitude; I was simply doing what I thought was right. Nevertheless, I have learned to say “you’re welcome” and silently give thanks for the opportunity to defend the freedoms of the person standing before me.
Perhaps it’s because less than 1% of the United States population serves in the military or maybe it’s the idea of going into a warzone to face enemy forces who wants to see you dead more than anything else - whatever it is, something drives people to feel thankfulness for men and women in uniform. But they’re just doing what they think is right. And you don’t have to have a uniform to be a hero.
Kind of like Riley Howell, the college student who fearlessly charged a gunman who opened fire inside a University of North Carolina-Charlotte classroom last spring. He collided so forcefully with the gunman that, after the hit, no one else was shot. Riley gave his life doing what he felt was right.
Or who can forget the brave passengers on United Flight 93? Their plane was hijacked by terrorists on 9/11 and they fought back, giving their lives in a Pennsylvania field so that countless others might go home to see their families again.
At Broaddus Defense, we believe the best way to thank those who have gone before us, to honor the lives lost in cowardly attacks is to continue serving and doing what is right. We exist to protect the innocent - it’s more than a company slogan - it’s a mission, a tribute, a reminder of what is at stake. We believe the majority of public servants feel the same way, so whenever you say “thank you” and all you get back is a “you’re welcome”, know how much they’re leaving unsaid:
It is our privilege to serve and protect you and your family. It is an honor to do what is right every day. There are wonderfully courageous people all around you who will do the right thing simply because it is the right thing. It’s our calling and our mission and our duty.