During the course of my last active-duty mobilization at Dover AFB I met many families who had lost their loved ones in service to our country. In the fall 2011, I met the mother of a Navy Seal who was lost in the Chinook that went down in Afghanistan. In between the Dignified Transfer ceremony I expressed, in between holding back tears, my condolence for her son. Her response, “My son wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else on earth than with his brothers that day–from the day he was born to the day of the Chinook he lived life to the fullest extreme.”
This Memorial Day was marked, like all others, with solemn reflection. To pause and reflect on the lives of our service men and women, and remember them, and to live life to the fullest in their honor. I paused and reflected on the life of Infantryman Omar Mora who co-wrote, “The War as We Saw It” in the New York Times about duty in Iraq, and seeing the mission through. Not long after this piece was published his life was cut all too short.
It’s one reason I wake up to make an impact through veterans nonprofit, Operation Code, an organization dedicated to helping transitioning military, veterans and their families learn the technical skills to build software and change the world.
This year’s Memorial Day morning I received a note from one of my board directors, Aimee Knight (@aimee_knight), on an introduction to organizers for a software conference that are not just interested in partnering for conference scholarships, but as Operation Code being one of their charity benefactors. They see what our existing partners see–that military veterans who are mission-driven, tackle obstacles with a purpose and never-quit attitude are strengths in the high growth tech sector. The partnership could help build capacity for the organization to serve more military veterans.
In the afternoon I received a much anticipated note from Benevity, a global leader in online workplace giving, matching, and volunteering, indicating that Operation Code’s charity profile was now 100% complete. I had started the process immediately after May 4th and first learned about Benevity from Google product manager, David Weekly, one of our first online donors.
Let us live life to the fullest and honor the Fallen with the mission ahead of us.