Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, a day worth remembering and celebrating to be sure. I like that we do so, and that we have Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day too. My grandfather served in the Navy in WW2, my father was drafted and in post-war Korea, and I served 8 years in the US Army. I wasn’t shot at, maybe my grandfather was, but we all arrived back home undamaged. Not all do. Damaged or not, may struggle to adapt when they exit the military. There are differences in military and civilian life when it comes to work. Military experience is always a plus in my view, but it has to adapt to the civilian world, and that’s just one of the challenges. I know few vets that consider themselves victims. I’ve always felt funny about checking the veteran box on job applications. Listing it on my resume is fine, but I’m not sure I want any preference – hire me, or not, for my skills.
My perspective is, of course, American. Proudly so. But I’m sure vets in other counties are the same, as they should be. I worked with soldiers from the UK, Germany, Panama, and more, and while we all like to talk about who is better, when you get down to it soldiers (and airmen, and the rest) are soldiers. They do work that is hard, mundane, scary, exciting, for a relatively modest salary. They don’t always agree on politics or anything else, but they are still so similar – they’ve done some hard things and respect others that have, same country or not.
Later this year I’ll write about an idea I have where we – the SQL community we – might do something to help and celebrate veterans without losing focus on what we do and why, and how that same approach might extend to other causes. But for today, you might stop and think – as hard as our jobs can be at times, no one ever shoots at us. Changes your perspective some.