Shirley Lamontagne, Director of Administration
Veteran’s Day is an official day where we honor ALL American veterans who have served in the armed services—living and deceased. Veteran’s Day always reminds me to slow down and take some time to reflect on my life. I am proud of the years that I served and proud of all those who have served with me. I am grateful that the military has taught me many life lessons that to this day I value.
I value how the Air Force created a strong sense of family and camaraderie for me that has been matched by no other institution. I value the leadership training that I received because leadership is essential in all aspects of life. I learned how to manage time, how to be a team player, and how to communicate. I learned that dedication means more than just showing up to work on time, and I learned that being courageous meant more than not crying upon leaving a haunted house or riding a bike without my hands on the handlebars!
As important as these lessons are—most importantly, I learned how to be a part of something bigger than myself. Being a part of a “something bigger” gave me a strong sense of pride and improved my self-esteem. I value the humility that I gained when I came to understand that treating people with respect motivates them to higher levels of performance. Surprisingly enough, it is because of my military training that I came to see that every person is, in essence, a miracle worthy of love. By learning to put the needs of others before my own I came to see that people and institutions that focus on the “we” rather than the “me” become more successful in their lives or their missions. I believe we all have the ability to focus on the things bigger than ourselves. Obviously, there are a lot of connections between these lessons and living as a part of church family!
So, on this Veteran’s Day I am thankful to all people who believe they, too, have the ability to focus on the big picture in life. I feel closer to God when I focus on the big picture because God is always focused on the big picture. Our communities thrive when those living in them can reflect, and find in that reflection, the motivation to serve others.