Constitutionally Right

The only way to predict the future is to create it.

Location: Yardley, PA (Bucks County), United States

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

An Angel I Once Knew -

My mom used to always say that “water seeks its own level” meaning that you’re influenced one way or another by who you hang out with. That’s why I very much enjoyed being around someone like Janet Manion (if even only a few times). Her humble confidence radiated to inspire others. That’s probably why so many were paralyzed by the news of her recent passing. Many didn’t know that she was sick - a testament to the silent dignity that was at her core. Mrs. Manion, along with her family and team of volunteers, continued the leadership of their late son, Marine 1st Lt. Travis Manion, by forming The Travis Manion Foundation. The Travis Manion Foundation is one of our nation’s most cherished support organizations for Veterans and families and can be found at . Character, courage and commitment often come at a high price, but the cost is much higher without these qualities. The foundation of leadership is service which puts the needs of others before your own. Living a life of such value is the key that unlocks the path of integrity where you will never get lost. Mrs. Manion provided that direction with her rare level of strength that literally takes your breath away. I often run into people who have regrets about not serving in the military, but they are doing more than they think just by honoring our men and women in uniform who make up the next “The Greatest Generation”. Mrs. Manion’s example and clarity of purpose not only shines light on the remarkable achievements of our Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen/women, but also creates opportunities for us all to serve. Leadership doesn’t happen in a vacuum, but is a 2-way street that we’re all a part of. When I think of Mrs. Manion I think of someone who has our back. Now it’s time for us to watch hers. Travis said “If not me then who?” right before leaving for Iraq. That “who” is now us. For example, Mrs. Manion spoke to my son’s 3rd grade class and left a profound impact on the students. His teacher now runs in the Doylestown Heroes’ Run (one of many held around the world on or near 9/11 each year) with a visible solemn reverence. Another example was an email from her Organization to join their Marine Corps Marathon team. I’m simply so blown away by those in harm’s way today that I was compelled to jump off that cliff and build my wings on the way down. Being a non-runner with 6 months to prepare seemed like much less of a commitment than those who are doing more today in a minute than I did in 5 years of full-time active duty. The Travis Manion Foundation continues to ”honor the fallen by challenging the living” in many ways. I’d like to conclude this tribute with a passage from Isaiah that reflects the peace of those summoned to a higher calling: They who wait for God shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. The last time I saw Mrs. Manion was this past October. After her speech I asked how she does it. She shrugged her shoulders and said, “Build it and they will come.” And they keep coming. Irrefutable proof that water seeks its own level.


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