On Veterans Days we honor the ones who are with us that served and pay respect to that sacrifice.  As a husband, a father, and a Marine veteran it means something a little different to me.  When I first transitioned out of the Marines in 2007, being a veteran was really the last thing I wanted to be known for or be recognized for. Serving for a veteran doesn’t make us special, it is just a thing we did and now it is behind us.  But really, we never put it behind us because we are always looking for answers to questions like why my service mattered and often, we may conclude it didn’t. That is where I take a different approach, our time in service mattered because it strengthened us to become better human beings, to have a richer life, and to be better moms and dads. Veterans carry a lot of experiences with them, some good, some bad, but these are tools in the toolbox of our life for a job we just haven’t found a use for yet. In a lot of ways veterans come home, but never really come home, next time you see a veteran don’t thank us for our service, tell us “welcome home” because that may be the first time someone hears it and triggers the process to start for them to come home to their family. Being a veteran to me means creating a life using the tools and experiences my military service gave me and creating a life worthy of the sacrifice of the ones that didn’t come home. It is creating a legacy of the family so strong it rivals the dent in the universe.  Steve Jobs is quoted as saying “we are here to put a dent in the universe,” I take that to hear each day so that when someone walks by that dent they say that was the Killoy’s. It can be easy to focus on the legacy of our service, but this focus leads to questions like why I lived, and others didn’t, and it takes away the power we have as an individual to move our life forward. In short, they died so that you could go back and be the best human being, mom or dad you can be. On Veteran’s Day, I would like to challenge everyone who reads this to see a veteran as an example and inspiration for the kind of life and legacy we want to create.  One that is full of adventure, depth, community, and family. Create a life worthy of their sacrifice, create a legacy that reaches well past a veteran’s four-year enlistment, one that goes generationally in the future. This is how we honor veterans on Veterans Day.  


April 2024