Friday, November 10, 2017

Thanks to Veterans for your past, and future, service

These are a couple of guys I served with when I was in the US Army and stationed in South Korea during 1970-71.  Prior to that I spent a year in Washington, DC in an Army language school, then 9 months in Baltimore at an Army Military Intelligence training school. Before that I did my basic training, starting in Nov. 1968, at Ft. Polk, Louisiana.

I met some great guys, from many different backgrounds, at each of these postings. I kept contact with some for many years after leaving the Army, but in the past few years I've not had contact with any of them.

This was home while I was in South Korea. It had no  insulation so during the winter I used the holiday cards people sent me to cover seams in the walls to keep the cold out. 

While I was stationed about 30 miles from the demilitarized zone, I never was in much danger while in the service.  My greatest fears came in my first couple of years as I wondered if I'd be sent to Viet Nam, where the dangers were far, far greater.

I had majored in history while in college at Illinois Wesleyan, so being part of Military Intelligence was a natural progression for me. In both situations you're collecting best available information and using it to support decisions and problem solving. Maps are a vital tool in this process.

I've applied that thinking for the past 40 years in my work, but as a retail advertising writer/manager with the Montgomery Ward headquarters in Chicago, and as a volunteer tutor/mentor and program leader, starting in 1973 and continuing through 2011.

I have also applied that thinking in the work of the Tutor/Mentor Connection, which I formed in 1993, and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, which I formed in 2011,  with the goal of helping high quality, mentor-rich, non-school youth programs reach k-12 youth in every high poverty neighborhood of Chicago.

For the past three year's I've used this graphic in blog articles (click here) that invited veterans, and active duty military, to get involved and support the work I'm doing.  The planning skills military leaders develop could be applied in any city to support a T/MC type structure.  The leadership skills officers and NCOs learn would make them excellent mentors, tutors and program leaders.  The network of military men and women would provide a rich support system for those who get directly involved.

As we honor veterans and their memory, let's give time to think of the men and women who served in the Armies of other nations. I took this photo in 1970, at the South Korean Military Memorial Cemetery.  I hope our leaders think of these lives as they talk about taking the US into new wars around the globe. 

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