Veterans Day, 2019

Veterans Day is indeed a meaningful day for me. As a military combat veteran (that still proudly serves as a KY Air National Guardsman), each Veterans Day always invokes many thoughts.  I reflect on the military-related experiences that largely shaped me into who I am today.  I reflect on past and present military colleagues, friends I’ve made around the globe from different countries & cultures, the 44 countries military life has taken me to date, and of course, those that served before me.  I’ve come to realize how much I’ve genuinely learned from my cumulative experiences, travels associated, and those relationships made since my journey began in 1986.

I always knew I must serve.  According to WorldoMeters.info, the current US population is estimated to be over 329.6 million people and rising.  The US Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that there are over 19.2 million living veterans since WWII to date. So statistically, that shows that just 17% of the US population ever served in our nation’s defense.

I proudly stand on the shoulders of those that served our great nation before me.  Their sacrifice and courage of yesterday profoundly forever changed our young nation allowing us to embrace the freedoms we have today – so much that people will risk all to be part of it.  As a Guardsman, I’ve been fortunate to not only serve my nation, but work in tandem for three civilian companies that sincerely care for military veterans. 

I’m especially proud of the company I serve in today – BeneLynk™.  Not only have we committed to sourcing and hiring premium military veteran/spouse talent, the services we execute on daily specifically help Medicare enrolled military veterans with obtaining and understanding health benefits they might not otherwise know about.  Additionally, we provide insight to thousands of veteran-related programs near them that ultimately provide for better health outcomes.

As BeneLynk’s Vice President for Government Relations, I am ecstatic to be in a position that plays an integral part that essentially caters better health outcomes through our partners and services to those military veterans.  As a senior leader serving in both the military and at BeneLynk™, this IS personal for me – I have a vested interest in ensuring my fellow veteran brothers & sisters are being taken care of.  The sincere passion I’ve witnessed from BeneLynk™ leaders and employees towards our experienced veteran customers is nothing short of incredible and we are winning! 

Today is Veterans Day and it is especially meaningful to me…having the capacity to serve military veterans through positive health outcomes humbles me each and every day.

James Tongate