By Glenn Campbell, Hat World/LIDS Co-Founder & Executive Vice President, @Wear_a_lid on Twitter
A few weeks ago, I boarded a plane to Tampa for a business trip to visit some stores in the area. While traveling is common in my line of work, on this particular flight I was seated next to a man who was enlisted in our armed services. As the plane took off, we had a conversation that I will never forget and always be grateful for.
The man, Sgt. Matt Reddon, was headed back to Kurdistan, dubbed the “other Iraq.” He had been in the Air Force for 30 years, and during his service had been deployed to areas like Kurdistan over a dozen times. While he seemed eager to get there, I couldn’t help but think this was not an ideal location for him. During our conversation, I also learned that his brother had just joined the military. It was clear the sergeant was proud of him. But on the subject of family, his voice grew softer as he expressed the hardest part of it all was leaving his wife and kids behind for extended periods of time. I can only imagine how difficult that must be. On this particular trip, he had a day’s worth of flying just to get to Kurdistan. Who knows when he would return to his family.
After listening to a few of the stories he told, I thanked him for his service to our country. That was the least I could do. But what stuck with me the most was his response. In that moment he said to me, “You don’t have to thank me; I do what I do, because I love my job.” We parted ways, each headed to our own destinations as we both put on our headphones to drown out the noise of the busy airport. However, I couldn’t help but replay his words in my head – he loves his job. WOW! Now if he and the countless other men and women in the armed forces that risk their lives to protect our freedom feel that way about their jobs, how can I ever begin to complain about mine? I thank you, Sgt. Reddon, for reminding me of the many blessings I have in my life, including my job. God bless and stay safe.
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