Veteran’s Day is the annual day we share our gratitude to men and women who have dedicated themselves to defending our nation’s independence and freedoms. Having served in the Navy, I have a special place in my heart for those who serve our country.

After all, they give their lives, if need be, to protect us and our country. I am humbled to have served with many outstanding individuals and in the footsteps of those who served in the past.

As I reflect on my years in the Navy, I often recall a day at sea, on patrol, submerged in the submarine north of the Arctic Circle. It was my birthday. I was turning 24 years old. It would be my first birthday and Christmas when I wouldn’t be home with family and friends. So there was no big celebration, just a bit of birthday cake with my fellow shipmates. But, at the same time, I recall feeling good that I was doing meaningful work, sort of paying back to all who served before me in war and peace to protect our families, our friends, and our homeland. I felt it was an honor.

That day was memorable because, as a birthday treat, I had a chance to watch the sunrise low above the horizon through the periscope. That sunrise will always be special for me; I will remember it because, after all, it was the only time I saw the sun during 72 days at sea.

And at that moment, I knew I was exactly where I needed to be, rising daily to serve our nation and trying to become the best version of myself. On that first birthday away from home, I received the greatest gift, delivered in a ray of light – the personal gratification from being of service to others. I was somewhere that mattered, and my fellow shipmates and our country counted on me to do my small part. It was a lot to absorb at 24, but now, many years later, that sentiment is still a part of me, as I know it is with many of our veterans.

I am fortunate to be amongst those able to return home and transition to civilian life and occupation, playing a role in shaping our communities through innovation and software.

Some served who are not as fortunate. While brave and powerful on the battlefield, many veterans find returning to civilian life challenging. We must remain committed to providing opportunities and support for service members and veterans who returned home. Whether in the workplace, providing hands-on training, or through our partner program, Aerospike stands behind our veterans. I encourage you to recognize our brave veterans for their sacrifices and selfless service.

God bless America,

John Dillon
Chairman of the Board
Aerospike, Inc.

P.S. Go, Navy!