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  • by Skip Schweiss
  • President, TD Ameritrade Trust Company
    Managing Director of Advisor Advocacy & Industry Affairs

May is Military Appreciation Month (but let’s show our appreciation the other 11 months, too!)

I volunteered at the Denver USO club for nine years. Early in that experience, I met a young soldier on a two-week leave from a combat tour in the Middle East. And he was quite struck by the lack of awareness and engagement by citizens on the home front. He seemed shocked, and sad. That really stuck with me.

skipvet

My grandfather served in WWI in Europe, until they discovered he was under age and sent him home. Kids those days! My father served in the Coast Guard in the 1950s, and my kid sister is a West Point grad and now retired U.S. Army. So I’ve been around military personnel my whole life, and early on came to appreciate the sacrifices they have made. Without our Revolutionary War veterans we’d quite possibly be a British colony today. And without our WWII veterans quite possibly we would have fallen under the thumb of Adolf Hitler. And just think about what that might have meant for our Jewish friends.

We should extend our appreciation also to the families of our military personnel. When a friend was serving a 16-month tour in Iraq, I joined a group helping to support his wife who was on the home front fighting her own battle with four teenage boys! There should be some kind of medal for people like that.

I enjoy an amazing life of freedom and peace, for which our military families deserve much gratitude. This is why, when I was offered a chance to help sponsor the TD Ameritrade Veteran’s Initiative, I jumped at the chance to participate as a cosponsor with Joe Iraci, one of my colleagues and a U.S. Marine Corps vet.

 

Though I enjoy a good movie or sporting event as much as most Americans, our entertainment and sports figures are not my heroes. Our military families past and present, including many
TD Ameritrade Associates, are my heroes. I hope you’ll join me this month—and every month—in extending our appreciation for these true American heroes.

So as you enjoy your three-day weekend, please remember our fellow Americans who have sacrificed so much for us.

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