The Importance of Storytelling on Veterans Day

John Pritchard’s father during his days of service in the US Army.

by John Pritchard

posted on 11-11-2019

Today, we commemorate Veterans Day in the United States, and Remembrance Day in Canada, the UK, and Europe. It’s a time for us to pay our respects to those who have served in armed forces around the world, to celebrate and honor veterans for their patriotism and willingness to sacrifice for the common good.

As a way to celebrate Veterans Day this year, I asked members of Adobe’s Veterans Employee Network (VEN), to share their stories about Veterans that were inspirations in their life. We received some amazing and heartfelt stories, and I’m proud to be part of this network.

Like many members of VEN, I too, was inspired to join the military because of my family. I grew up in a military family—my grandfather and father both served, and I enlisted in the US Army right after finishing high school. Even though there wasn’t an expectation that I enlist, I was inspired by the experiences and stories of my father and his father. Their stories instilled a reverence around the concept of service and being a part of something greater. I remember that we used to invite my father and his father to tell their “war stories.” Most of time these ended up being less focused on the actual events that took place as much as the lessons they learned. As a child, those stories were instrumental in shaping my views on trust , the value of teamwork and being “all in”. Today I try to model this with my own family. I tell my stories. I would encourage every veteran to tell theirs.

As a veteran, I think it’s easy to fall into a pattern where you don’t talk about your military service often. It can feel out of place to talk about your experiences without any shared context. But when I meet with veterans who are entering the civilian workforce, or who are looking for a new job, I can’t stress enough how important it is for them to share these stories. Being part of the military was invaluable for my career. I often say that the military offers the highest caliber leadership training you can receive. It teaches you to strategize, to plan for unforeseen events, to pivot when necessary, and to be decisive, amongst a long list of other skills. These skills are extremely relevant in industry, and in my experience, to tech in particular. Whether you served, or have someone close to you who has, tell that story and put into practice the lessons you’ve learned.

I would like to once again thank veterans around the world for their service. I look forward to hearing your stories.

Topics: Diversity & Inclusion