Handshake between enlisted military member and a female civilian. Shot against an American flag. Selective focus on hands.

A few months ago I had the opportunity to make closing remarks at a Memorial Day event hosted by the BusinessMatchmaking organization, in partnership with the City of San Francisco and the Small Business Administration (SBA).  The event, titled “Operation Opportunity” was an intensive half-day workshop focused on launching, funding, growing and securing a small business.  I was inspired by the Veteran small business owners in attendance, and was happy to share some thoughts and observations with the group.  Below is a transcript of my closing remarks:

 

CLOSING REMARKS BY BRIAN TIPPENS

OPERATION OPPORTUNITY – MAY 27TH 2016 – SAN FRANCISCO, CA

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SERVICE AND THANK YOU FOR JOINING US TODAY AS WE FOCUS ON HOW DEDICATED GOVERNMENT AGENCIES AND WE IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR CAN HELP YOU ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS WITH YOUR COMPANIES.

I KNOW I SPEAK FOR EACH PRESENTER HERE TODAY WHEN I TELL YOU IT IS OUR PRIVILEGE TO HELP YOU GET STARTED AND GROW AND ENJOY THE VERY BEST IN THE COUNTRY THAT YOU SERVED OFTEN IN HARM’S WAY.

I AM AMONG THOSE WHO TRULY BELIEVE THAT OUR HISTORY MUST REMAIN IN FOCUS. THAT IF WE IGNORE IT, WE ARE BOUND TO GO THROUGH THE VERY WORST OF EXPERIENCES AGAIN.

ON NOVEMBER 18, 1968 – 48 YEARS AGO – BEFORE MANY OF YOU WERE BORN. FATHER GUY MORGAN, AN AIR FORCE CHAPLIN WITH 20 YEARS OF SERVICE AND TWO TOURS IN VIET NAM CAME HOME ON LEAVE. HE LANDED AT JFK AIRPORT IN UNIFORM AND A WOMAN IN HER FORTIES WALKED PAST HIM AND SAID “BABY KILLER” AND SPAT ON HIS UNIFORM.

THE CHAPLIN NEVER MISSED A STRIDE. FIRST, HE WAS ANXIOUS TO GET HOME AND SECONDLY, HE KNEW THAT ANY INCIDENT WHILE HE WAS IN UNIFORM WOULD COME BACK ON HIM.

 FATHER MORGAN CALLED THAT THE MOST CONFUSING AND DISTURBING DAY OF HIS LIFE AS AN AMERICAN CITIZEN WHO HAD BEEN IN HARM’S WAY TO MINISTER THOSE, MANY OF WHOM WOULD MAKE THE ULTIMATE SACRAFICE, TO PROTECT OUR COUNTRY.

 

THANK GOODNESS …FOR ALL ON ACTIVE DUTY…FOR ALL RETURNING FROM IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN DEPLOYMENT, SUCH

DEPLORABLE INCIDENTS NO LONGER OCCUR.

 

YES, YOU WILL WALK PAST THOSE WHO QUESTION THE WISDOM OF A WAR OR A BATTLE OR A POLITICAL POSITION. BUT, AMERICANS HAVE FOUND THAT WE CAN RESPECT, GIVE THANKS AND SUPPORT THE WARRIOR WITHOUT BEING PLEASED ABOUT THE WAR THEY FIGHT.

TO FOLKS LIKE RICHARD CHACON OF UNION BANK, A VIET NAM AND KOREAN WAR VET AND TO THOSE DIVERSITY LEADERS HERE TODAY, THAT SUPPORT FOR YOU MEANS MORE THAN TALK.

TODAY YOU HAVE HEARD FROM THE SBA, AND WE DO HAVE ONE OF THE STRONGEST DISTRICTS IN THE COUNTRY UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF DIRECTOR MARK QUINN. YOU HAVE HEARD FROM CALIFORNIA AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. YOU HAVE HEARD FROM SOME OF THE NATION’S MOST SUCCESSFUL CORPORATIONS – SUCCESSFUL NOT ONLY IN MEETING THEIR STAKEHOLDER’S GOALS BUT IN SUPPORTING COMMUNITIES AND COUNTRY AND MAKING SURE THAT WITHIN THEIR OWN ORGANIZATIONS THERE IS VERY CLEAR AND CONVINCING AWARENESS THAT DEALING WITH VETS IS MORE THAN THE RIGHT THING TO DO. IT IS THE PRACTICAL THING TO. IT IS THE BOTTOM LINE AWARENESS THING TO DO. IT IS THE SLEEP AT NIGHT BECAUSE ON YOUR WATCH, THE JOB WILL GET DONE AND ONE RIGHT.

A FEW WEEKS RICHARD CHACON WAS AT TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE ALONG WITH MARK QUINN AS PART OF THE BOOTS TO BUSINESS PROGRAM HELPING PREPARE ACTIVE DUTY PERSONNEL FOR TRANSITION TO CIVILIAN LIFE.

MANY OF THOSE MEN AND WOMEN ARE ENTREPRENEURS IN WAITING. THEY HAVE THE FIRE IN THE BELLY AND ARE ANXIOUS TO BE SELF-EMPLOYED AND TO SUCCED THAT WAY.  IT IS NOT EASY.

ALL OF YOU KNOW ABOUT SACRAFICE IN TIME AND FAMILY AND FUN TO DEAL WITH THE DAY-TO-DAY CHALLENGES OF ANY BUSINESS.

I URGE YOU KEEP IN MIND WHAT YOU HEARD HERE TODAY ABOUT CAPITAL, ABOUT CERTIFICATIONS, AND SELLING OPPORTUNITIES. THESE ARE GAME CHANGERS BUT ONLY IF YOU APPLY THEM.

I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT OTHERS HERE TODAY HAVE SHARED MY EXPERIENCE THAT VETERAN OWNED SUPPLIERS OF ANY PRODUCT OR SERVICE TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS AND DELIVER ON TIME AND ON BUDGET.

OUR AMERICAN ECONOMY IS DEPENDENT UPON SMALL BUSINESS DOING BIG THINGS.

YOU BRING TO OUR BUSINESS WORLD A SENSE OF DISCIPLINE, A COMMITMENT TO TEAM WORK AND FINDING THE SOLUTION – NOT JUST WORRYING ABOUT THE PROBLEM. YOU BRING TO THE TABLE THE ABILITY TO HANDLE A SITUATION IN THE MOST CHALLENGING OF ENVIRONMENTS. THANK YOU FOR THAT AND AGAIN THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SERVICE AND ALLOWING US THE PRIVILEGE OF HELPING YOU ACHIEVE DESERVED SUCCESS IN BUSINESS.

BEFORE WE ADJOURN AS WE APPROACH THIS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND, WE KNOW THERE IS MORE TO IT THAN HOT DOGS AND HOLIDAY. WE HAVE NEARLY 1 ½ MILLION ON ACTIVE DUTY – MANY IN HARM’S WAY.  WE WISH THEM GOD SPEED AND SAFE RETURN. MAY I ASK YOU TO STAND AND JOIN IN A MOMENT OF SILENCE REFLECTING UPON THOSE WHO HAVE MADE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE FOR US AND FOR OUR COUNTRY.

MOMENT OF SILENCE

WE STAND ADJOURNED.

ShareShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterGoogle+Share on LinkedIn

1 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. chuck ashman says:

    I had the privilege of being present when you shared your views with a totally attentive audience. Clearly, you got to them. Keep it up Brian as the country needs to hear more and more so that patriotism regains its status as an ideal and not a punchline.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *