Thank You, Veterans
“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.” -President Woodrow Wilson
On Nov. 11, 1919, President Willson proclaimed Armistice Day a holiday that would later be adopted by Congress in 1938. After undergoing a few name and date changes, we now celebrate Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11 each year.
This week and every week, we at Executive Speakers Bureau want to say thank you to all of those who are serving and who have served our country. Thank you for honoring our country, defending our freedom and being willing to give the ultimate sacrifice for us.
We especially want to give a big thank you to our Veteran speakers who now use their past experiences to inspire and motivate audiences everywhere.
Major General Vinny Boles is a career Army officer who has 33 years of experience in being prepared for war and, when needed, leading and supporting teams into the toughest crucible, combat. In his time as an Army General, Major Gen. Boles was responsible for managing the nation’s $27 billion ammunition account, assuming command of the Army’s War Reserve equipment 6 weeks before the attacks of 9-11 and flexing it into operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and other locations, and deploying to Kuwait in preparation for the Invasion of Iraq with 142 personnel, which, in 90 days, grew to a force of over 8,000 soldiers, civilians and contractors by the time the invasion began.
General Peter Pace retired from Active Duty in 2007 after he served in the United States Marine Corps for over 40 years. He is a highly decorated General who has received awards such as the Bronze Star, the Defense Distinguished Service medal, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in 2008. He also served as the 16th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In this position, he served as the principal military advisor to the President, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council. Prior to becoming the Chairman, he served as Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Pace is the first Marine to have served in either of these positions.
Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Sweeney is a jack of all trades. He is a decorated combat pilot who spent 23 years in the United States Air Force and Air National Guard, an author of 2 books, and an All-Conference collegiate basketball player who beat multiple school records to name a few of the different hats that he wears. Known as “The Colonel”, Sweeney is the only person to have ever successfully landed a KC-135 military plane after having two of the four engines ripped from the plane during nighttime combat in Desert Storm. The Colonel uses his real life story describing the mission in the darkness of night, while at maximum weight and on a combat mission to illustrate how your team can overcome any obstacle facing them. He and his team were awarded the United States Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross for their incredible aeronautical feat during the mission.
Rocky Bleier wasn’t very big fast, but he was a determined athlete when the Pittsburgh Steelers picked him late in the 1968 draft after his brilliant career at the University of Notre Dame. Before he could prove himself as a rookie for the Steelers, he was drafted again – this time, for combat duty in Vietnam. During his tour in Vietnam, he was shot in the left thigh by a rifle bullet. While he was down with the gunshot wound, an enemy grenade landed nearby and sent shrapnel into his right leg. He was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for his injuries. While recovering, he was told he would never play football again. One year after receiving his injuries, he returned back to the Steelers training camp. Although it hurt him to walk and he couldn’t run, he never gave up on his dream of playing in the NFL. Not only did he play in the NFL, he played on a Super Bowl winning team four different years. When he retired, he was the Steelers’ fourth all-time leading rusher.