For those of you who know me, it might surprise you to learn that I come from a military background. The U.S. Army stationed both of my parents in Honolulu, where I came along so many years ago.

Growing up in the ’70s, the public (rather unfairly) pilloried our nation’s veterans. The bitter taste of Vietnam lingered far too long, and the blame spilled over the politicians who earned it and stained our men and women in uniform. But it did nothing to tarnish my respect for them. They were my original role models. I even joined ROTC in junior high, where the all-black unit took it upon themselves to teach this scrawny white kid how to march. In those two short years, I learned about responsibility, respect and rhythm.

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