I’m hoping everyone had a truly remarkable celebration this last Tuesday. For most, that means a day of family, friends, barbeque and fireworks. In my case it also included 27 holes of golf! Regardless of how you spent it, the Independence Day is also a day of remembrance for all of those sacrifices that made this day possible.

I’m blessed to be part of a family of contributors to our nation’s freedom. I have two brothers that defended us during the Vietnam era (one eventually retired after 20+ years). I also have three uncles and an aunt who served in World War II. One of my uncles was involved with three island landings in the Pacific as a Navy Corpsman. My aunt was with Patton’s 3rd Army as a evacuation nurse. She landed in Normandy (that is another story) and served in Europe until she was discharged in November of 1945. I know that many of you have similar stories in your own families.

Growing up in a family of story tellers (you really need to come to one of our reunions), I heard firsthand the exploits of all my immediate and extended family going back over a century. Those stories were pretty candid and included many things I believe my parents would not approve of my knowing.

However the bulk of the stories dealt with the struggles they overcame, adventures along the way and the happiness and success they achieved. They had few complaints. Instead, their stories related more contentment in what they were able to achieve.

My aunt’s story on being discharged from the Army after WWII is a great example of the importance of short-term actions and sacrifices that support long-term priorities. After she was discharged, she boarded a train to take her home to SW Missouri to see family. Even though she hadn’t been home in over 30 months, she stopped in St. Louis for a day to visit Anheuser Busch and see if she could get her old job back. Before her service in the Army, she worked at AB as a nurse with the brewery. Upon successfully insuring her position, she then continued on the train and getting home.

I think her story demonstrates the investments (stopping and protecting her future) everyone has to make in front of longer term goals and rewards (finally getting home safe) for maximizing personal successes.

In our business of automating processes across warehouses, shop floor sites or in asset management, every initiative always begins with an investment in time, effort and money. But it is that investment that then creates the operational and strategic rewards we gain from that automation. While a sacrifice, it insures our future success.

Thank you to those that are or have been in service and the families and friends that support them. Everyone makes sacrifices, big and small for us to celebrate this day, and I think we all need to appreciate what it provides us individually.

And in case you were wondering – I won all three 9-hole matches on July 4th.…

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