Veterans Did… so we don’t have to

Veterans Did… so we don’t have to.

A couple weeks ago I put out a blog titled “A shot in the back: Fear is Cowardice” seeking to make an analogy between the Jesse James assassination and employers who use fear to suppress injury reporting.  I appreciate my many readers who provide positive and constructive feedback to my blogs.  After posting the blog I got a very wise piece of feedback

Only being actually shot in the back is “like getting shot in the back”.  Comparing anything in business to battlefields or bullets is always inaccurate.  If for no other reason than the fact that there is always intent to kill on the part of the person who fired the shot.  It is insulting and painful to those of us who have been exposed to both ends of the gun and the resulting consequences.  There are thousands of men who are returning to the business or construction workplace from the battlefield workplace.  (Reprinted by permission)

I’ve had a couple chances to correspond with this reader who emphasized that he was not only referring to our military veterans but also to first responders such as our Fire and Police corps who put themselves in harms way or go to the aftermaths of their own “war zones” such as Hurricane Sandy.


He’s right:

Point 1- we sometimes don’t respect the real danger that these heroes experience when we use overreaching analogies such as “war zone,” “holding someone’s foot to the fire”, or “stepping on a land mine” just to draw attention to our argument.

Instead, perhaps we should follow Shawn Galloway’s lead in his blog where he recently implored us to learn from the excellence of the military when developing our own safety systems.

Point 2- Veterans did… so we don’t have to.

I sit in my office this morning while one of our own is holding a gun or going into danger so I don’t have to take up arms to defend my family and community.

A new friend of mine, Dan Weedin, who I met while speaking in Bogota last year, he was keynoting as well, puts out a wonderful blog.  In honor of Veteran’s day, he put out a special blog on his father.  He was one of us who responded to the Nation’s need soon after he turned 18 after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  

Dan writes:

Dad wasn’t unique to men of his era, or that of many others. His call to duty to protect his fellow Americans was deep and strong. He just didn’t think himself special. He thought that was just the way everyone felt. (Reprinted by permission)

So on this Veterans Day let’s appreciate the honor, bravery and soul of our protectors … as we seek to protect our work force.

"We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude." -Cynthia Ozick


Timothy Ludwig’s website is where you can read more safety culture stories and contribute your own.  Dr. Ludwig is a senior consultant with Safety Performance Solutions (SPS:, serves as a commissioner for Behavioral Safety Accreditation at the non-profit Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies (CCBS: and teaches behavioral psychology at Appalachian State University, in Boone, NC.  If you want Tim to share his stories at your next safety event you can contact him at


My husband, daughter, son-in-law (active Navy CDR), 3 brothers, 2 brothers-in-law.

I certainly appreciate the analogy from a business point of view, but also “felt” the answers given from the vets’ side.       Linda T. Truett

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