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If Not You, Then Who?

Updated: May 23, 2020

Point to ponder:

What can you do to be of greater service to others?

If not you, then who? This is the stirring question behind the Travis Manion Foundation.

Travis Manion served United States Marine Corps. On April 29, 2007, 1st Lt. Travis, his fellow Marines and Iraqi Army counterparts were ambushed while searching a suspected insurgent house in the Al Anbar province of Iraq. Leading the counterattack against the enemy forces, Travis was fatally wounded by an enemy sniper while aiding and drawing fire away from his wounded teammates.Travis made the ultimate sacrifice that day. His selfless actions allowed every member of his patrol to survive. For his actions, Travis was awarded the Silver Star and Bronze Star with Valor.

To keep Travis' high-character, love of country and service-of-others legacy alive, his family founded the Travis Manion Foundation (TMF). The TMF's mission is to to empower veterans and families of the fallen to connect with their communities and unite in service to honor fallen heroes. They pass on these lessons of character and selfless service to the next generation, ensuring our nation’s youth put these lessons into action and strengthen America’s national character.

Travis' legacy continues to grow through the work of TMF, inspiring people to live with character and make an impact by serving others. We can all remember Travis by carrying on the character strengths that defined his life:

  • Hope- Expecting the best and working toward it

  • Humor- Enjoying making others smile and laugh

  • Spirituality - Believing in one's purpose in life and place in the universe

  • Prudence- Considering outcomes and risks carefully before acting or speaking

  • Appreciation of Beauty- Drawing inspiration from beauty and excellence

  • Self-Regulation- Being mindful of and responsible for one's emotions and actions

  • Forgiveness- Being accepting of people's faults or mistakes

  • Humility- Being modest about one's own accomplishments

  • Teamwork- Cooperating with others toward a common goal

  • Fairness- Promoting justice and equality

  • Kindness- Taking care of others; being caring, generous and considerate

  • Love- Valuing close individual relationships with others

  • Zest- Approaching life as an adventure, with great enthusiasm

  • Social Intelligence- Understanding what makes other people tick

  • Integrity- Being genuine and taking responsibility for one's actions

  • Love of Learning- Always adding to one's knowledge and skills

  • Perspective- Having a thoughtful point of view that others seek out

  • Judgment- Examining all sides of an issue before making a decision

  • Courage- Standing firm in a value despite opposition

  • Curiosity- Being open to experience and knowledge

  • Creativity- Imagining new and unique ways of thinking and doing things

  • Gratitude- Being thankful for good things in life

  • Leadership- Motivating a group to achieve a goal

  • Perseverance- Finishing what you start, despite obstacles and setbacks

This Memorial Day, I encourage you to take a moment to give thanks for the sacrifice of our fallen military men and women, as well as consider how you can carry on their legacy by being of greater service to others. Please watch the powerful video below and be inspired to "honor sacrifice with deeds, not words, with sweat and toil, not thoughts, and never succumb to the temptation of complacency, and may the tears and sweat that touch our tongue remind us of freedoms cause."

Click on picture to see video


Action Item:

Pick one character strength (listed above) and whole-heartedly act upon it for Memorial Day (and beyond), in honor of those who did this and then some for us.


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