There are several commemorations this month honoring and appreciating the men and women who serve or have served in the military. The first is the entire month of May! This month is a time to appreciate and honor all of our military men and women – Military Appreciation Month.
The second commemoration is May 20th – Armed Forces Day. Armed Forces Day is a time to recognize and thank all of the US armed forces: The Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and Coast Guard. The Army National Guard and the Air National Guard are reserve components of their services and they are honored as well.
The third commemoration is Memorial Day, taking place this year on Monday, May 29th, the last Monday in May. Memorial Day is a time to honor those who died while fighting in the U.S. Armed Forces. It is a somber day as we remember and thank the heroes who gave their lives in service to our freedom.
In this current writing we want to sincerely thank all AMS employees who have served in any branch of the Armed Forces.
To tell the story of what it means to serve, what is gained from service, how military service can shape the life experience of a person we thank Stephen Williams, AMS Director of Operations for agreeing to speak with us about his personal experience.
Thank you Mr. Williams for speaking with us about your service, and how serving in the military has impacted your life.
#1 – First, could you tell us about when you joined the military and what branch of the Armed Forces you served in?
I served active duty in the United State Navy from 2010-2014. I served as a member of Amphibious Construction Battalion 2 in both Bravo and Hotel company. I currently serve in the United States Air Force Reserve as a member of the Civil Engineers in the Water Fuels and Maintenance flight.
#2 – How would you say your time in the military impacted your life and the years that followed? Did it teach you, shape you or change you?
My time in the military is special to me. I initially joined as means to serve the country. I was born in Jamaica but was raised in NYC. During my time in NYC I remember being in school during the terror attack of 9/11. I remember the initial mixed emotions I felt after the act. My fellow classmates and I were directly impacted by the attack, and that was the event that compelled me to join the military.
I joined as an enlisted member of the Navy after I graduated college. Basic training and my time served taught one characteristic that I bring with me everywhere. The concept that even in hectic situations a level head will prevail and treat each skill like a tool in your toolbox. Those lessons changed and taught me. It taught me the value of getting skills and expanding on those skills. Take those skills seriously and use them when needed.
Sometimes you only have one chance to perform a task, and those tools may be the difference between success and failure. Learning that level heads prevailed changed me. I was not a hot-tempered person, but I never saw the value in being able to defuse a situation, or use your calm to change an outcome. Boot camp and taking part in the missions of my unit helped me see the value in staying calm in pressure situations.
#3 – How would you like to see military service commemorated, i.e. what can we do to thank you and others who made this commitment to protect us and our freedoms?
I would like to see just recognition for the sacrifices service members have made, in form of a moment of silence or a kind word.
We can definitely offer the kind word in this tribute. We thank all active and reserve military among us at AMS and throughout the country. Your willingness to serve and even give your life to defend and protect this country is noble and very deeply appreciated.
We are publishing this tribute blog on Armed Forces Day, 2023, which is May 20th. Armed Forces Day was established in 1949, led by President Harry S. Truman. The following statement from census.gov speaks for all of us:
“On Armed Forces Day, we share our unending appreciation for the proud patriots who answer the call to serve, taking the sacred oath to defend our Constitution. The brave members of our Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Space Force, Coast Guard, and National Guard and Reserve forces represent the best of our Nation. Today and every day, we honor their immeasurable service on behalf of our grateful Nation.”
Thank you from AMS!!