This is Jo. She’s a veteran of the Afghanistan for a year. I was lucky enough that she spent part of her two weeks off that year with me in Spain. Jo worked in Afghanistan to help improve lives—so that little girls could go to school and people could have infrastructure that we take for granted—roads and clean water.. She’s also one of the funniest, sweetest, smartest people I know. We went to college together, and when we graduated she was stationed in
Today, on Veteran’s Day, I’m thinking about Jo and the sacrifices she made to serve our country. I remember her stories from her respite and our visit in Madrid. She was witnessing horribly complex problems every day in Afghanistan, but she was never worn down. Her motivation was to help the Afghan people—from the man who tailored her winter coat in the market to the children she met on the street. I’m sure she’d blush at the thought of me honoring her when so many others have given so much more, but Jo’s my hero. When I was ready to come back to Chicago after college to work and play in the big city, Jo listened to a calling to serve a greater cause. I respect and love her for that.
Who’s your military hero? The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago honors people every year who embody the heroic mission of the Red Cross. Jo is my own personal hero. Who do you want to honor on Veteran’s Day? Leave a comment here, or, better yet, nominate that person for our Heroes Breakfast!