Successful veterans – entrepreneurs, politicians, artists…there are many of them out there, in as many industries. I am privileged and blessed to know some of them.
A couple of months ago on Veteran’s Day I wrote an article called Advice to a Veteran’s Son (you can find that here). I received so many suggestions for expanding that list from men I respect in the “tactical industry”, I thought it worth a follow-up article. So here are some words of advice to a child from a few successful veteran fathers. Maybe some of them will be worth passing along. Happy New Year!
Travis Rolph, Mayflower Research & Consulting (USA)
“Don’t be afraid to try and fail, it builds character. You will eventually succeed and be stronger for it.”
Casey Ingels, Tactical Tailor and Grey Ghost (USA)
“Make sure you get educated. The best ideas are worthless if you can’t implement them. It will help you combine practical experience with the credibility needed to effectively ensure your success. Education will open doors and it will never go away once you complete it.”
Jason Beck, Tyr Tactical
“Allow your passion to be your guide.” Always be willing to be on the search for personal improvement, no matter if it’s for you to improve yourself as a father, husband, employer or designer. Remember your responsibilities to others, and hold those responsibilities as part of the core of your passion. A strong sense of servitude towards God, your family and your family and your employees will ultimately fulfill you even greater than any dollar you will ever earn.”
GW Ayers, Grey Ghost and Tactical Tailor
“Remember, the military, or whatever career you engage in, is temporary. Your family and relationships are forever. Whatever team you find yourself on, totally sell out to that mission. Most times you only get one opportunity to do it. Find an expert and emulate them. Find examples of what wrong looks like and avoid those pitfalls. Be heroic, every day, even when no one will know about it.”
Matt Meyers, BE Meyers & Co Inc. (USA)
“Watch out for the guy that wants to be your friend and offer you advice on the first day. He’s usually the last son of a bitch you’ll ever want to know, and he’s coming to see you because everyone else already knows to shun him.”
Greg Medford, Medford Knife & Tool (USMC)
“Risk big and hard, for the universe preys on the timid. Chin out matched only by quiet humility.”
Matt Griffin, Combat Flip Flops (USA)
“Don’t look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.”
C.K. Redlinger, Mission X (USMC)
“My Uncle was one of the 10 survivors of the USS Juneau. I often think about how he survived, which leads me to this piece of advice – If you ever find yourself in a situation where it seems you are not going to make it out alive or defeat is inevitable, fight for just one minute longer, then repeat until the incremental accumulation has changed the outcome in your favor.”
Jim Cragg, S.O. Tech (USA)
“I wrote a letter to my daughter in the hospital cafeteria the day she was born…whether on the battlefield, in business or in the back yard, whatever you do in life, do something that will improve the lives of others; those same people will rally behind you, and you will find yourself taken care of too.”
Tom Davin, 5.11 Tactical (USMC)
“I’m lucky to to be the son of two veterans. My parents, Ruth and Mike, served as U.S. Navy officers. They were delighted when I chose to serve, but they never forgave me for becoming a Marine. My advice to a Veteran’s Son: Your father (or mother) is a different kind of person. He volunteered to put his life on the line for a set of beliefs that allow everyone else to enjoy freedoms most take for granted. Whether he served in war or peacetime, military service shaped his character. He may be reluctant to ask you to serve, but I’d bet he’s hoping you’ll commit to being a person of purpose. Be clear in your beliefs. Stand for something that matters. Serve a cause greater than yourself. In the future if someone says to your father, ‘your son acts like his dad is a veteran,’ you’ll have made his day”
Kerry Davis, Dark Angel Medical (USAF)
“Always do what’s good and right, not just for yourself, but for others. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it in the end. Selflessness will build a legacy while selfishness will only build resentment.”
Thanks guys for taking a few minutes from your busy schedules to contribute!
About the Author:
Someone has to corral the writing team, handle business expenses and bail the Mad Duo (and their minions) out of jail. For years the Pentagon and the International Association of Chiefs of Police sought an impeccable man to lead the pedagogic and frequently obstreperous team of Breach Bang Clear writers. They needed someone charismatic, a warrior, able to maintain mental acuity under the worst stressors Courage, integrity, cunning, tact and decisiveness. Unfortunately the program suffered severe budget cuts so they ended up with David Reeder, now the Mad Duo’s Chief Wretched Flunky and Breach-Bang-Clear’s HMFIC.
A LEO for many years and former AF Security Forces SNCO, Reeder’s mastery of tactical sesquipedalianism is unmatched in modern times. He’s a self-professed POG who taught MOUT at the Bold Lighting Urban Warfare School and later combat tracking to members of all branches. As a LEO he worked patrol, training, SWAT and counter-narcotics and was on the OC-evaluation team at the National Homeland Security Training Center. You can read more about him here.