This past Veteran’s Day I attended my church’s evening service honoring our military veterans as I do each year. As always, it was a wonderful service with a lot of patriotic music. Veterans attending often wear or display something to reflect their branch of service. This year, I promised myself that I would not let tears form in my eyes, which is what normally happens when I think of all the men and women who have served our country and are currently serving it. I also think about the countless other service organizations and people who have careers that serve the public like police officers, fire fighters, teachers and health care providers. Once again, I failed to keep my promise and tears flowed during the service.
Each year, the service ends with the congregation singing each military branch’s song or hymn. During each of these songs, a flag bearer carries a flag from the branch being sung about from the back of the church to the front of the altar and veterans from that branch exit their pews and follow the flag bearer to the front of the church. As we sang the Army, Marine, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard hymns, I felt more tears as I feel an immense void because I did not serve my country by wearing a military uniform. As I looked at the front cover of the church service sheet and saw the colorful seals or logos of the Air Force, Marines, Navy, Army and Coast Guard, it dawned on me that I have and do serve each of these military branches. However, supporting multiple military personnel directly or indirectly has never seemed to be enough for me. For some reason, not having served in the military has left a void in my heart. Such feelings caused me to think of other areas in my life where it sometimes seems there is “never enough.”
I always think that in all areas of my life “it’s never enough” or at least never good enough. I push myself and those around me to always deliver their best, beyond what I and they think is possible. Just like the old military marketing campaign, I push myself and others to “Be the best that you can be.”
My “never enough” mentality drives me to seek perfection in all aspects of my life. I live in a “never enough” world. I can never write enough handwritten notes, give enough to charity, and never have enough time to complete my list of tasks. I never take enough time off and I can never stop trying to be a better person, father, or mentor. I can never say enough prayers for enough people or touch enough lives. My companies’ mission statement says that we will make a positive difference in the lives of those we employ, those we serve and those we encounter. There is no limit to the number of people influence. At times, I question whether I should change my “never enough” mentality. However, I always realize I would rather go through life with a “never enough” mindset than wish I had done more at the end of my life’s journey. I guess I truly am a “never enough” person.
On a positive note, I have more than enough blessings and appreciation for those I encounter, even the painful encounters. I know I have more than enough faith to get me through the challenges of life even though I must counter balance my “never enough” thoughts with the more than enough facts.
Several years ago, Jim Murff, a real Texas cowboy and poet and a friend of mine, wrote a poem about me. I cannot repeat the title in this blog! As much as I hate to admit it, Murff probably got it pretty close to right but that poem could have been named “Never Enough.”
Written by KING AEROSPACE Founder, Jerry Allan King-Echevarria.