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By the time I completed 36 years of military service, I had a chest full of medals and was trying to slip quietly into retirement without a ceremony.  Then it dawned on me, this would be my last chance to say something of significance to those I had served with, and most important to my wife who had supported me through so many deployments.  As a civilian, being gone for a week on a business trip can be a nuisance, but being gone for a year in a combat zone is an entirely different experience.  My wife, like all military spouses, had to assume the overwhelming tasks of raising three children, running the household, and trying not to think of the worst thing that could happen to me.  Military spouses are the “hidden heroes” that seldom get recognized and who shy away from the spotlight.  So my retirement ceremony was a chance to thank her and all military spouses.  I hope I made it clear then and, if not now, I could not have accomplished what I did in the Army without my wife’s help and our Army cannot do its mission without the support of military spouses.

Just like with military veterans, if you ignore the altruistic appeal of helping veterans and their spouses start careers, you find out quickly the advantages of hiring people who can deal with anything thrown at them and never fail to achieve the objective.  Military veterans and spouses bring so much more talent to the work place and that talent can be realized if first understood.  Think about the skills it takes to plan and coordinate all of the activity on your own for a year and you start realizing they have the ability to multi-task and drive any project to completion, which is what any employer seeks in project managers and leaders.  I am very pleased to see the scope of Salute’s efforts expand to helping military spouses start careers in the data center industry.  Salute customers will benefit as the combined strengths of military veterans and military spouses are introduced to the industry in greater numbers.  I hope you will join me and welcome these “hidden heroes”.

Colonel Kirby Retires

Retirement ceremony for Colonel and Mrs.Kirby  January 2013

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