Strong, intelligent, wise, loving and resilient.
the words I would use to describe my grandfather. My best days were
those spent at my grandparents' house. With my nana, who managed to
clean, fuss and sing all at once and my “paw paw,” with his low
commanding voice and six-foot frame, who told the best stories.
My favorite stories were about the Army. They were tales of
combat, prejudice and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. All from a
time I would never know or understand.
A model of system resilience, based on a model of system
failure, described in the interactive guide for resilience
assurance. (Designed by and courtesy of Avi Harel)
Fast forward to the present, where I am serving my
country with endless opportunities that my grandfather
didn't have. At times I regret my decision to join because I
feel like I have given up my freedom. I want to sleep in and
shun the responsibilities I've taken on, but then I think of
paw paw. A man who dedicated 26 years of his life at a time
when many who served had enemies on both sides of the fight.
A man who, in the face of racism, did his job and put his
life on the line, even for those who looked down on him.
My paw paw was a Vietnam War veteran, a Purple Heart
recipient and the humblest man I'll ever know. So who am I?
Who am I to ever feel like a victim because I didn't get the
job I wanted, I stay a few hours late, I miss home or I just
don't feel like being in the military today?
We all have
our bad days and experience times when we feel like giving
up. When I find myself in that low place, I think of my paw
paw--the tenacious, thoughtful man who endured so much, but
remained grateful and kind.
Everyone can benefit from
having a strong person to look up to and draw strength from
daily. That strength can come from a family member, teacher,
friend or even a celebrity. Everyone has a story, and
sometimes just seeing someone else pull through is enough to
pull you as well.
There is happiness in many things
we do, sometimes we just need to pick our heads up long
enough to see the positive side of things. For me, that
positive is that I live a great life and carry on a great
What's your positive? What are you missing by
keeping your head down?
My paw paw is a constant
reminder that resilience is a choice. It's a choice that
either comes naturally from within or we learn from others
who inspire us.
If you're not sure, I challenge you
to find someone or something that can help you see the good.
Your happiness depends on it.
By U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Breanna Carter
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