As we recognize the veterans in our work and personal lives in this edition, UF Health Shands CEO Ed Jimenez reflects on the rich experience and skills employees with military backgrounds bring to their civilian careers.
Have any of your family members, relatives or loved ones served in the military?
My family is originally from Argentina and my dad and brother served during conflicts there. Having relatives who served, especially during conflicts, certainly impacts you. Some of the Veterans Day stories in this edition about our employees and their families explain this so well. I also have many close friends and colleagues who have been members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
What impact has this had on you personally?
I’ve seen firsthand that it really does take a special person to understand the calling to serve. I have an emotional response thinking about this …I feel overwhelming gratitude knowing that someone has been willing to temporarily leave their family and put aside work and regular life and risk so much to support their country.
My friends and colleagues who are U.S. veterans are modest and have a humble perspective when you ask about their service. They don’t make it a big deal, they don’t have an ego response or feel they’re better than anyone else. In fact, they tend to be matter of fact about their experience.
Many don’t even want to talk much about what they have seen or lived through.
But they’ll tell you about the people they trained and served with — they value the camaraderie. They feel privileged to have served. That’s what’s important. This is very inspiring and humbling to witness.