For hundreds of years, young men and women have turned to the military for stability, camaraderie, and an opportunity to serve their country. The values that the military instills in these individuals – values such as loyalty, personal courage, integrity, selfless service, self-sufficiency, and civic and national pride – are ones they will carry with them for a lifetime and pass on to subsequent generations.
While many studies have been conducted regarding how the military affects the soldiers themselves, it is also important to assess how the military affects the lives of their children. The lives of military children are shaped by frequent moves, a culture of resilience and adaptiveness, a knack for making new friends, exposure to foreign languages and cultures if living overseas, as well as exposure to a wide range of regional cultural differences as a result of living in varying geographic regions of the U.S. Studies have shown that children must adapt the same or similar set of values that the military has instilled in their parents, if they are to successfully adapt to their ever-changing environment.
One such example is Elliott Broidy, a successful Los Angeles businessman and philanthropist whose father served in World War II. Elliott was born and grew up in Los Angeles, the son of a military father who later became a schoolteacher, and his mother, who was a nurse. Elliott utilized the same core values of personal courage, self-sufficiency, and selfless service to put himself through college, and overcome his modest means to become a successful, self-made businessman and philanthropist who has given much to his community and to his country.
Early on, Elliott’s parents instilled in him a strong set of values and a strong work ethic, emphasizing the importance of hard work and persistence. His strong work ethic was exhibited at an early age, when Elliott began waking up at 4 a.m. for his early paper route at age 10. At 16, Elliott left home to become a salmon fisherman in Oregon so he could raise enough money to attend the University of Southern California (USC), Marshall School of Business. He realized it would be difficult to attend the college of his dreams without any assistance, given his family’s modest means, and so he took it upon himself to make his dream a reality.
His courage and persistence were exhibited even further as he rose through the ranks as a business and community leader. Elliott has used his business successes as a vehicle to help fund and support various organizations such as the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Simon Wiesenthal Center, Young Presidents Organization, Los Angeles Police Foundation, Aviva, and The Everychild Foundation, among others.
Elliott’s civic and national pride is portrayed through his support of organizations such as the Medal of Honor Foundation, which seeks to recognize the most courageous members of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the Wounded Warriors Project, which provides programs and services to severely injured service members during the time between active duty and transition to civilian life. As a further symbol of his service to the country, Elliott has served both Republican and Democratic administrations as a member of multiple military task forces, and was appointed by the President to serve on the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. in 2006.
Clearly, as military children are faced with the challenges of constantly being uprooted, having to make new friends, adjusting to a different culture and/or living environment at every turn, adopting the same or similar set of values that are instilled in their parents by the military can be a tremendous help in adapting to these varying set of circumstances. Elliott Broidy is a prime example of how values such as courage, persistence, selfless service, and self-sufficiency can help you achieve success, no matter who you are or where you came from.
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