Veterans Day might be the most important observance for me and the STS Federal family. Growing up as a military brat, and later while serving in the Air Force, I observed so many patriots who proudly defended our constitution and our freedoms.

When many Americans think about military service, they think of soldiers in hand-to-hand combat, fighter pilots navigating enemy territory to destroy high-value targets, or Marines storming the adversary’s shores to take over territory.

While these images are authentic visions of what service members may face in wartime, the everyday hardships are important to recognize too. Their days begin at dawn for physical fitness, then long 10 to 20-hour workdays, sometimes many months away from home for training. And finally, the years away from family for deployments. They miss some of life’s most precious moments while away on those missions – births, deaths, a child’s first steps, sporting events, helping with homework, high school graduations, and much more. And they endure the challenges of military life – the moves, limited choices for housing, healthcare, and childcare; all these “challenges” take a unique toll on families.

Our military service members and their families endure these challenges and set the example for all of us. They are incredible. They understand the values of unity, camaraderie, faith, bravery, and selfless service. And when their military service is done, I am in awe of the example they set as citizens as they bring these values to civilian life. They become teachers, first responders, volunteers, community leaders, and entrepreneurs. They continue to serve their communities as they did their country.

That’s why we, at STS, have a passion for honoring these heroes. We can recognize and celebrate their service, and we can try to live our lives with the values they’ve embodied. We can emphasize hiring veterans in our businesses. We can vote with veterans in mind. And, we can do simple things like volunteer in our communities, and look for ways to be a servant in daily life. I am so grateful for my time as a military brat and as an airman. It gave me the education, skills, and experience that made me who I am today. It placed a special calling on my heart to help veterans who want to become entrepreneurs. I am also grateful to have the opportunities and the freedoms that we all enjoy in our country. And most of all, I am grateful for the men and women, past and present, willing to take the oath and defend those freedoms with their lives.

~Cliff Ingari
President & CEO
STS Federal