During this National Entrepreneur Month, we not only recognize the tenacity of small business owners, but our veterans who took the leap of faith to open a small business. While November is widely known as a time our country honors and recognizes the contributions veterans made to our country, it’s also a moment we acknowledge the impact entrepreneurs have made to our economy; both adding valuable contributions to our country.
I am a Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, having deployed on two different ships four times to the then-war-torn country. I married the love of my life, Mary, after my first deployment in 1970. Looking back these 46 years, I am so glad I married early in life; it enabled us to have so many wonderful times together, raise a family, have careers, travel the world and enjoy our marriage. And looking back, it also bought us some years together, given that in many ways, we’ve lost some more recently.
Eleven years ago, Allen returned from Iraq, having survived an IED blast that inflicted both significant physical and emotional harm. This military veteran, husband, and father of two young children now faced a life-changing, long and tough road to recovery. Standing by him, as she promised “in sickness and in health,” is his wife of 16 years, Chasity. For this full-time teacher and mom, the day Allen came home, injured and anxious, her life was changed dramatically. She was thrust into a new, overwhelming role: caring 24/7 for her husband.
As my dad’s memories fade due to Alzheimer’s disease, the list of things that still stick with him gets increasingly shorter. My mom’s name is frequently on his lips, even though she passed on a year ago. His service dog, Mr. Jackson, is still his key companion and, even when he can’t remember his name, he looks for “the dog.” And he still knows the 10th Mountain Division, with whom he served in World War II as they drove the Nazis and Mussolini out of Italy. Being a veteran is one of the few things that Dad still identifies with.
Republican Ralph Hall of Texas, who at 91 is the oldest-ever member of the U.S. House, has lost his bid to follow 17 terms in office with another one, which he had promised would be his last. He was narrowly defeated in a GOP runoff election May 27 by former U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe, 48, who made Hall's age an issue in the campaign.
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