In this last of a three-part series honoring those among us who served, we highlight three of the many honorable people in our extended AVB/BrandSource family who answered the call of duty.
Of course, Memorial Day is a time to honor and remember all the men and women who served our country faithfully. We salute all those who effectively gave a blank check payable to the rest of us, for an amount up to and including their lives.
Maybe they didn’t see action during wartime, or never served near hostile enemies, but the fact that they would willingly sacrifice their lives if called upon, means that they all should be honored and remembered on Memorial Day and every day.
Toby Keith summarized the sentiment in the final verse from 2003 song “American Soldier”:
I’m an American soldier, an American
Beside my brothers and my sisters
I will proudly take a stand
When liberty’s in jeopardy
I will always do what’s right
I’m out here on the front lines
sleep in peace tonight
American soldier, I’m an American soldier
To those in uniform serving today and to those who have served in the past, we honor you and thank you for your sacrifice.
Kevin and Lieba Wiskus
Kevin and Lieba Wiskus, owners of Your Square Deal Furniture & Appliances in Centerville, Iowa, are both U.S. Army veterans. But Kevin, a former aviator, redirects any praise for their service to their fallen brethren.
“People often thank us for our service when they learn we are veterans,” he told YSN. “But being thanked for my service makes me uncomfortable. Yes, I appreciate the kind words, but I do not feel worthy of being thanked. When Memorial Day comes, I often think of the 24 people that I served with who died while on active duty.”
Twenty-two of those comrades were lost in helicopter crashes, and some were close friends.
“I served, they sacrificed,” Kevin said. “We rarely miss a Memorial Day service at our local cemetery. When ‘Taps’ is played, I weep because I have heard those 24 notes played for many of my 24 friends. As the poem goes, ‘You have slipped the surly bonds of earth.’”
“Tony, Al, Don, Bill, Rob, Marlon, Stephen, David and too many more — may you rest in peace.”
Ed Maxwell recently joined BrandSource as a South Atlantic Region member. Along with two partners, he uses a members-only retail model to sell household goods direct to over 1,000 customers within the local Jacksonville, Fla., market. He’s presently looking to go solo with a similar business model that encompasses furniture, mattresses, electronics and other products, beginning with limited local distribution and eventually expanding beyond the territory.
Maxwell served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1996 to 2008 and continues to act as a government profiler. His tours took him around the world, including stints at Beaufort Air Station in Naples, Italy, with the Marine Corps Security Force Cadre; Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina; Camp Babylon, Iraq, with the 4th ANGLICO attachment; and the Wounded Warrior Regiment in Quantico, Va.
Asked why he enlisted, Maxwell replied simply, “Just three reasons: God, family and country.” He also offered up his own words to live by. “All things are accomplishable,” he said. “Where there’s a will there’s a way.”
Maxwell added that he remains thankful for the opportunity to serve his country and is excited to be a part of BrandSource.