The Energizer

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Veterans Day Demands More Than Words

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer - Tuesday, November 11, 2014
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Two years ago, my sister and I stood in the theater at Arlington Cemetery for the premier of the documentary “We Served Too - The Women’s Air force Service Pilots of WWII." It was a moving experience, made even more so by the view of so many who died for us.

But if I could stand and speak to the nation from the briefing room at the Pentagon (as I did in this mock press conference), here is what I would say:

While we wave flags, buy red poppies, and march in parades today, there is a grave matter that should shame us all.

Today, more men and women have died or been horribly wounded—physically and/or mentally by engaging in the longest wars our nation has fought. And yet, unemployment is rampant for our veterans (25% for those ages 18-24). Food insecurity and lack of housing is a reality. Families have been ripped apart. And our VA medical services require huge repair. It is beyond pathetic. Where is the outrage?

Our voices are silent when only 30% of registered voters cast ballots in this last election…

Only 30 % on behalf of the values and democracy that these men and women have fought to protect and advance.

It is beyond pathetic.

I’ve heard the arguments for remaining away: “Only money matters now.” “Powerful lobbies have bought the politicians.” “My vote won’t make a difference.”

Eileen McDargh at the Pentagon

There’s a part of me that shakes my head in agreement and yet… and yet…

Our nation can’t continue this road of apathy. Without carefully standing at a voting booth, there is no chance for creating a nation that works for all. Our veterans deserve protection and assistance with more than words and bugle blares.

Today, make a resolve to let your voice be heard. The citizens of countries around the world are dying for the one right that we have and yet 70% refused to use: the power of a vote

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Eileen McDargh Keynote Speaker Blog Author

About Eileen!

Since beginning her consulting and training practice in 1980, Eileen has become noted for her ability to speak the truth with clarity, wisdom, humor and compassion. Long-standing clients and repeat engagements attest to her commitment to make a difference in minds, hearts and spirits of organizations and individuals. She draws upon practical business know-how, life's experiences and years of consulting to major national and international organizations that have ranged from global pharmaceuticals to the US Armed Forces, from health care associations to religious institutions. Executive Excellence magazine selected her as one of the top 100 thought leaders in leadership and among the top ten consultant providers of leadership development.

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