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Memorial Day & Its Meaning: Three Veterans Reflect

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Memorial Day is a chance to honor and remember members of the U.S. military who have died in service. Thank you to all those in our extended Intel family—employees, family, and friends—who are serving or have served, especially our Gold Star families.   


We invited three colleagues to share their reflections about celebrating Memorial Day:

  • Gary Davis served in the U.S. Navy (2000-2005) and is a Product Manager
  • Tim Flynn served in the U.S. Navy for 30 years and is in Strategic Business Development
  • Robert Galvez served in the U.S. Marines (1997-2017) and is a Maintenance Technician

What does Memorial Day mean to you?
Gary: As a child, I used to think of Memorial Day as a long, fun weekend. That changed once I enlisted. I see it now as a day and a weekend to remember and honor, in whatever way you can, those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.  

Tim: An opportunity to pause and thank God for the incredibly courageous men and women who willingly made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and those of freedom-loving allies and partners around the world.   

Robert: I was assigned to a funeral detail unit during the height of the Iraq War, and I had to play taps on the bugle every weekend. It was heartbreaking seeing families cry over their lost young sons or daughters. This job was the most difficult thing I had to do while I served, but I feel it was the most important job I had while I was in. 

How do you celebrate and remember?
Gary: We try and watch a documentary or a movie based on real life, so we can try to understand and remember what our fellow Americans have experienced in war. On Memorial Day proper, we often go out to the Willamette National Cemetery (in Oregon) to place notes and flowers at the graves of those who lost their lives in service to our country. 

Tim: I always think about Memorial Day visits my wife and I would make when we lived in Washington, D.C., to the WWII Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, and the Vietnam War Memorial. I would remember my two uncles who fought in France and Germany and were fortunate to return home after the war. At the Korean War Memorial, I would study the faces of the 19 Soldiers and try to imagine their pain. The Vietnam Memorial was always personal. I would well up when I would see the name of my father’s young cousin on the right side of the crease in the chevron-shaped wall. He left behind a young wife, three very young children, and another on the way. His honor, courage, and commitment inspired me to apply to the Naval Academy. 

Robert: I try to reach out to people I served with and talk about those who did not make it back. I also spend time with my family since I am sure that those young men and women would love to be home with their loved ones. 

What is one way you’d suggest people honor the day?
Gary: Try to do something more than yourself this weekend. Volunteer with veteran organizations or anywhere. Stop for a minute and recognize the reason for the long weekend and honor those no longer with us, be friendlier to one another, and celebrate all life because we only have one to live. 

Tim: I recommend we reach out and thank the families in our neighborhoods who lost loved ones in Afghanistan and Iraq. Look for the gold star on a small flag displayed in a window. A Gold Star Family is the immediate family of a fallen service member who died while serving in a time of conflict. I also recommend you reach out to the families of our Afghan partners who courageously served alongside our soldiers, airmen, marines, and sailors. Welcome them and help them transition to their new lives as Americans. 

Robert: I would ask everyone to spend time with loved ones and to think about those service members who cannot. 

1 Comment

Thank you for this meaningful post Intel.
This is a solemn day for veterans and for families who lost a cherished member while serving in the Armed Forces.
Putting some real Intel veteran faces and feelings on the Memorial Day message is a very respectful move.
This is a great company for veterans to transition to; I'm happy I did.
Remember and Honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. 
Semper Fidelis.