It’s about the protection of others.
Most of us don’t appreciate what we have growing up. I didn’t with the military family environment around me.
My father (who was a Vietnam veteran) that adopted me and my brother was very strict. Boys were afraid to ask me out in high school because of my dad, who was well-known in the community, a science teacher and football coach. He was protective like any father would be.
Then my parents divorced right before my junior year.
My mother was remarried about 18 months later and I had an attitude with her new husband, my stepfather. (I was 16 when we met, okay?) This man had a great, positive impact on all of us. Jean-Luc was very humble about his background: he was a West Point graduate, Ranger officer, 82nd Airborne Commander, Special Forces officer, and Defense Attache for the Department of Defense.
He was known for being “healthy” and worked out everyday, even after retirement.
We both liked running. I was on the track and cross country team in high school, and he offered to run with me occasionally over the summer before he married my mom. His stride was totally different than mine; he was 6′ 4″ and I’m 5′ 3″. Trying to keep up with him did improve my time (he definitely pushed me).
My second book, Expecting the Good: Inspiration from a Badass With a Big Heart, is a tribute to Jean-Luc. We met so many of his West Point classmates at his funeral, and they shared some awesome stories. He definitely had a rebel streak. And we didn’t realize the things from a military aspect that Jean-Luc was involved in because he never told us.
His perspective on life had an impact on so many.
Keith M. Huber (retired Lieutenant General, US Army) agreed to write the forward for the book. He was one of Jean-Luc’s West Point classmates. The statement that stood out to me most is this:
We believed in what we did and what we were trained to do in service to our nation. The heroes of our country were our precious families. Our families carried on with life, never knowing if they’d see us again, never knowing what we were truly were doing. We spent our adult lives protecting the families of the world at the expense of our own.
You probably know someone or have a family member who served in the military too. It’s a tough environment they choose to be in.
Honor a Veteran. Not just on Veteran’s day, but everyday.