Memorial Day Speech from Gold Star Dad
Jeff Falkel delivered this speech to over 600 people in Irvine, California on Memorial Day, May 26, 2014.  I found his message of love to be powerful and moving, and received his permission to post it here:
My Hero is Gone…
[caption id="attachment_2460" align="alignright" width="150"]This Cross appeared in the sky right after "Taps" was played at George's funeral on St. Patrick's Day, 2014. This Cross appeared in the sky right after "Taps" was played at George's funeral on St. Patrick's Day, 2014.[/caption]

When I was preparing to enter the Army at age 17, I asked my mentor, "George - what advice do you have for me?"  He said, "When it's tough, and it will be, take it day by day.  When it's bad, take it hour by hour.  And when it's more than you think you can bear, take it moment by moment."  This is one tough moment, George.

When I finished the Special Forces Qualification Course, George gave me one his berets.  A high honor, and I said, "George - that course was the toughest thing I ever did, and your advice really helped me make it through."  Of course George wouldn't take credit, and said, "There will be plenty of things in life that will be far tougher than that course."  And once again, George was right.  He was always right.

One Step at a Time

While climbing a 14,000-foot mountain (14er) on a beautiful, sunny, Colorado morning, I wondered how many steps it would take to reach the summit.  I know there is a precise answer, and getting up there is in essence solving a math problem.  The average person's...

West Point Graduation Week – Day Seven

Today was the exclamation mark to a week of festivity, but represented so much more than celebratory activities.  There are milestones in life, and then there are milestones truly etched in a collective memory for a lifetime.  To me, my son's graduation from West Point...

Lead Others To Do Less and Achieve More

Michael Canic wrote a recent blog called "The Zen of Strategy" where he wrote, "Decide what you're not going to do. Which markets you're not going to serve. What you're not going to offer."  This got me thinking there's no single trait that's a more...

The Secret Ingredient for (Team) Happiness

"What is the nature of human happiness?"  That's the seminal question Daniel Gilbert is focused on answering in the latest issue of the Harvard Business Review.   I have heard managers say their co-workers are family, and creating a happy environment is part of the culture. ...

Gold Star Dad

I spent an hour with Jeff Falkel last week, and walked away feeling like I'd know him my entire life - like a brother.  Jeff is a charismatic guy, and well informed on a number of topics.  He's highly educated with a PhD in exercise...

A Race

[caption id="attachment_54" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="The Win"][/caption]I watched my son win a cycling race today (see video), and I was an ecstatic and proud father, but not for the win. When he crossed that finish line I thought of everything he did to be competitive. I...

Our Fallen Soldiers

I commend the president for his respectful tribute to our fallen soldiers, and believe senior members of his administration should be duty-bound to attend the arrival of every flag covered casket. Only then will we appreciate the true cost of our policy decisions. ...

Hiring Heroes

The woman looked and me and said, "Your mistake - you made eye contact!" Like a laser beam, she was headed straight for me on the tradeshow floor. Her name is Sara Trask, and unlike most of the corporate zombies one meets at...