Once again, OWC is closed on Memorial Day to honor the thousands of individuals of our U.S. Armed Forces that have given their lives protecting and preserving our freedom.
In compliance with Memorial Day decorum, the flags at our Woodstock and Austin facilities were set at half-mast at sunrise and then restored to full mast at noon. We will also be honoring these service men and women with a moment of silence and the playing of Taps at 3:00 p.m. local time and hope you will join us in this National Moment of Remembrance wherever you may be.
Memorial Day has been celebrated since May 1868 when General John Logan proclaimed the 30th of May as Memorial Day (originally called Decoration Day). On that first Memorial Day, flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
The website www.USMemorialDay.org is a great source of information on this important day and its history. The site tells us that In 1971, Congress passed legislation to change the recognized day to instead fall on the last Monday of each May, effectively making it part of a three-day weekend.
Today, our nation commemorates our fallen heroes with parades, speeches and BBQs. To preserve the original intent of this day, I personally believe that the 1971 legislation should be removed so more people remember Memorial Day isn’t just for another three-day weekend.
While Memorial Day is mainly intended to pay tribute to the U.S. men and women who died during military service, Veterans Day, on November 11, is intended to thank living veterans for their service.
To underscore the fact that all those who served – not only those who died – have sacrificed, OWC is a proud sponsor of Got Your 6, a nonprofit organization that works to bridge the civilian-military divide.
Got Your 6 does this by focusing on the six key pillars of veteran reintegration: jobs, education, health, housing, family and leadership. “Got your 6” is a military term for “I’ve got your back.”
Supporting veterans and active duty personnel has been something OWC has become increasingly involved in since Desert Storm in the early ‘90s.
Because of our staff’s continuing efforts, the company has sent pallets of canned food, books, movies, and sports equipment to units they have “adopted” in areas of conflict – all to show our appreciation for their service, and hopefully, to improve their time deployed overseas by enjoying some of the luxuries those of us back home take for granted.
We support Got Your 6, because with about 1 million American service members expected to depart the military by 2016, we clearly need to do more to help returning soldiers translate their military skills to re-enter the civilian workforce and further enable and recognize their ongoing contribution to our communities here at home.
It is our privilege and OWC is proud to welcome our vets to employment at OWC and glad to facilitate any transition need in doing so.
It is an honor and a great benefit in that we’ve found vets bring their own unique skills, loyalty, and maturity to quickly and accurately analyze a situation, determine how to develop a solution and the ability to determine whether or not they need assistance and/or advice to best serve our mission. We’re lucky to have these individuals on our team and in our local communities where their service continues.
OWC also continues its dedication to those who serve during years that the U.S. armed services aren’t in harm’s way via Operation Support Our Troops – America, otherwise known as the OSTA.
Whatever efforts we undertake to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to all those men and women serving in our Armed Forces today and those who have served in the past, we can never do enough because it all pales in comparison to what they and their families have sacrificed for all of us. Giving back is the least we can do; and we do so openly, honestly, and with the utmost respect for their service.
On this Memorial Day – and every day, we hope you’ll take a moment to offer your own gesture of thanks to our men and women serving our nation. Even a small gesture like walking over to a member of our Armed Forces you see and saying thank you can mean the world.