The Beacon: May 2024

The Beacon: May 2024

May is the month of remembrance. This year is especially difficult for me as I’ve had personal family members pass away. One served in the Navy and died by suicide, and one was a long-time caretaker of a Vietnam veteran whose selfless service took her way too soon.​


Memorial Day is more than just a long weekend or the unofficial start of summer. For many veterans like myself, Memorial Day is a day of reflection, gratitude, and remembrance. It’s a time to honor our fallen brothers and sisters, those who stood shoulder to shoulder with us in the face of danger and adversity. Those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country. Those individuals who gave everything they had in defense of the principles and values that we hold dear. They were sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, who answered the call of duty without hesitation, knowing full well the risks involved.​


As we gather with family and friends on Memorial Day, it’s important to take a moment to pause and reflect on the true meaning of this day. It’s a time to remember the sacrifices of those who never made it home, who left behind loved ones and futures unrealized. It’s a time to honor their courage, their selflessness, and their unwavering commitment to a cause greater than themselves. It serves as a stark reminder of the cost of freedom and the debt of gratitude we owe to those who paid it in full.​


But Memorial Day is not just about looking back; it’s also about looking forward. It’s about ensuring that the legacy of those who made the ultimate sacrifice lives on in our hearts and minds, and that their memory is honored and preserved for future generations. It’s about teaching our children and grandchildren the value of service and sacrifice and instilling in them a sense of duty and responsibility to uphold the ideals for which so many have died.​


So, as we observe Memorial Day this year, let us do so with reverence and respect for those who gave their lives in service to our country. Let us take a moment to honor their memory, to be grateful for their service, and to pledge that we will never forget their contributions to our nation. Add to that the caretakers who also make sacrifices in caring for the injuries our veterans and service members sustain. They are the unsung heroes, in the shadows without complaint.​


As a veteran, Memorial Day holds a special place in my heart. It’s a day to honor the memory of those who gave everything for their country, and to reaffirm our commitment to upholding the values for which they died. So let us pause, let us reflect, and let us remember – for their sake, and for the sake of future generations.​

Who will you celebrate this Mother’s Day and remember this Memorial Day?

Are you a veteran struggling with your civilian career transition? Tune in as we explore the unique challenges and opportunities that await outside the military. Learn how to turn your military skills into your strongest professional assets with insights from Robyn Grable, a Navy veteran and the pioneer behind Talents ASCEND. Find out why inclusivity in hiring isn’t just good ethics—it’s good business. Don’t miss out on mastering the art of skill translation!

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Reflecting and Honoring Those Who Have Shaped our Lives

By Nila Thompson

In the tapestry of our lives, there are threads woven by countless individuals who leave indelible marks on our hearts and minds. From family members and friends to mentors and teachers, each person we encounter imparts wisdom, kindness, and guidance that shape the very essence of who we are. As we navigate through life, it is essential to pause and reflect on the profound impact of those who have touched our lives in meaningful ways.

The act of remembering those who have impacted our lives is an acknowledgment of the interconnectedness of humanity. It is a recognition of the intricate web of relationships that enrich our experiences and shape our perspectives. Whether through acts of kindness, words of encouragement, or lessons learned, each person leaves behind a legacy that echoes through time. We honor their contributions to our growth and development. We celebrate the moments of joy they brought into our lives and cherish the memories we shared together. But remembrance goes beyond nostalgia; it is a testament to the enduring power of human connection and the profound significance of each individual encounter. Their stories serve as beacons of inspiration, guiding us through life’s challenges, and reminding us of the limitless potential within each of us.

Moreover, remembering those who have impacted our lives fosters a sense of gratitude and appreciation for the richness of human experience. It prompts us to express heartfelt thanks to those who have supported us, believed in us, and helped us become the best versions of ourselves. In doing so, we cultivate a culture of kindness, compassion, and generosity that uplifts not only ourselves but also those around us.

As we gather with family and friends this Memorial Day and honor our service members that made the ultimate sacrifice, let us also take a moment to reflect on the others that we have lost. The countless individuals who have shaped our lives in ways both big and small. Let us cherish their memory and strive to embody the values they held dear. And let us never forget that we are the sum of the lives we touch and the legacies we leave behind.

Honoring my grandparents,
Edward Franklin Popejoy Sr. and Lucille Braxton Garland Popejoy​

Thank you to the National Veterans Business Development Council for making Talents ASCEND one of their featured members in this month’s newsletter. 
The NVBDC MVO Task Force provides a credible and reliable certifying authority for all size businesses ensuring that valid documentation exists of a Veterans status, ownership and operational control. To learn more or register, visit
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