June 5, 2017
They are mine. They represent me both physically and emotionally. People judge me based solely on how I present them, how I carry them, and how I employ them. They are the foundation of my strength, just as they are the window to my weakness, and I may never fully comprehend the power they hold. They are battle tested and always ready. They bear the scars of internal and external wars gone by, where they emerged stronger from each skirmish, through victory and defeat.
I have foolishly doubted them at times. I have thought they would buckle under the weight of change, the pressure of the grind, and the burden of self-doubt. But they persevered. I thought surely they would crumble in the face of insurmountable failure, ill-advised missteps, and gut wrenching rejection. But there they stood, only emboldened by the adversity. And I had no doubt they would fall under the crushing disappoint of missed expectations, falling short of my potential, or worse yet, letting people down. But they unwaveringly remained, vigilantly waiting for the next challenge.These are my shoulders. They have never been broken. I have tested them at every turn, only to find that the very things I thought would break them, only built them up over time. Their weakness only lies in my mind, and even at that, they will continue to carry the weight of the world, whether I believe we can or not. They exist to show me there is nothing I can’t handle, that there is no adversity I can’t overcome, and that I cannot be broken, no matter the odds…but they beg me to try to prove them wrong today, tomorrow, and forever. – CPT Ryan
May 30, 2017
The origin of Memorial Day was the culmination of multiple takes on honoring those who had paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country. Although we realize most see this weekend as a chance to enjoy the summer, and take some time away from work, we encourage you to take a moment to reflect on what allows you to do so. Whether it’s your house, your job, your community, your family, or your leisure, every ounce of it has been affected by those who were willing lay down their life in the interest of yours.
We harp a lot on pushing yourself to succeed, chasing your dreams, and staying hungry. Maintaining that focus is the product of drawing motivation from a litany of sources. If you feel empty, if you feel tired, if you feel like giving up and not taking advantage of all the opportunities afforded to you…we implore you to think of the sacrifice which has been laid before you by a person you have never met, never seen, nor will ever know, who signed up to enable the mere thought of your existence, and all of the opportunities which could come with it.
Every opportunity you ignore, every privilege you don’t take advantage of, and every time you miss the chance to give a piece of yourself to the benefit of others, it makes the loss of those selfless servants that much more tragic. Memorial Day is so much more than moments of silence, waving American flags, speeches, ceremonies, and cookouts. It is a call to action for a grateful nation to show its fallen protectors their sacrifice will not have been in vain every day…not in word, but through action. Draw fire, motivation, and passion, from the countless brave souls who humbly gave you their world, and you will find a tireless energy which will not rest until you have left this world a better place.
Whatever your dream is, remember “I will, because they cannot”, and thank you to all those whom have served, and sacrificed, so others could live their dreams.