Cisco Blogs

Freedom of Choice

February 29, 2012 - 1 Comment

Part of what we should be happy with every day is learning something new. I strive each day for that, sometimes I over exceed, sometimes I may not recognize I learned something until days later. But here it is critical to maintain balance. I would hasten to add that each day it is even more critical to enjoy something. Like your family.

My friends and loyal readers would know I work from home. One of the powers of a Cisco powered network is to be there while being here. So I usually have the TV on in the background. To let me know that the snow is coming (finally?) or of other breaking news. But one of the things I watch (before my partners on the West Coast get in) is the local Fox morning show.

Here in Milwaukee they are running the local Auto Show. It is being held at the local convention center that has been renamed 10 times in the last six years (I exaggerate, saving that for a future blog) due to acquisitions. They, the local Fox station and Toyota, are doing a promo to give away a new car to a Veteran. So they’re down to the final six.

What prompted this was an interview with a Veteran and his daughter – she nominated him and he was happy to state she would be his chauffeur. It was cute, the entire exchange. He is a WW II vet and was embarrassed to say she would likely take him to his local tavern. And home, she said, if he bought her dinner.

Another couple, a Veteran of Iraq, and his pregnant wife. Different story, but equally touching. Another guy, Veteran of Desert Storm, looking to get more efficient from his existing SUV. Again, different story, but it leads us to:

The point? We need to honor those that have served to keep us free. Those that served in WW II and the Korean Conflict are dying every day. But they deserve our gratitude. Those that served in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and all of the skirmishes in between. They deserve our gratitude. They left family at home, put themselves at risk, and all to maintain the Democracy belief.

And here is the tie to Manufacturing. In earlier wars and conflicts the Veterans came home and found an expanding economy and many of them developed skills and expertise in machines and how to build really important stuff. In many ways they built the economy of the US. We’re losing that. Many manufacturers have relocated their production facilities to other emerging economies. Yet we need to capture the skillset of the experts, and make it available to future generations. (The ability to locate a subject matter expert is part of what Cisco can provide, but I’m not making this a commercial)

But manufacturing was a key element of bringing those Veterans home. We need to bring manufacturing home for so many reasons (another blog, yes) but we also need to honor those have sacrificed so that we have the freedom of choice.

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  1. Some good points you hit on Mark. I believe the last US vet from the first world war died last year. My father survived WWII with only a shrapnel wound to show for it. I wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t made it through. I remember Churchill and others talked of manufacturing being key to Britain’s defenses at that time. All the manufacturing plants could be reconfigured if needed to change from building sedan cars to armored cars and the like. If you don’t have a strong manufacturing base you’re reliant on someone else to defend you – so freedom can be out of your hands. That’s just another reason why we should be thankful and proud of our United States manufacturing comeback. And, of course, just as thankful and proud of our United States forces. Cisco, with our partners, is in the forefront of driving flexibility in plants with our manufacturing solutions, and doing our small part to protect freedom