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Labor Day has so many meanings

Ashleigh Fryer, Senior Editor
3:47 pm PDT August 25, 2014

This week I had the opportunity to speak with the folks at Save a Warrior, a nonprofit focused on rehabilitating soldiers who are suffering with the challenges of returning to civilian life.
I found this conversation amazingly pertinent considering the approaching Labor Day holiday, which, we all know, celebrates the contributions made by workers to this country.
It got me pondering the idea that, in many ways, what you do can become who you are. Depending on the profession, this can be a negative or a positive development, but when put in the context of soldiers, it becomes even more apparent.
I’m not here to support or argue against the virtues of the military. The bottom line is that everyone deserves to be supported for their sacrifices, especially when those sacrifices define your character, as in the case of the women and men who go through Jake Clark’s program at Save a Warrior.
The work I do as a journalist is defining me as an individual who is driven, eternally curious and in search of the human element in whatever I’m reporting on. Soldiers are defined by what they do, as well, and that can be both rewarding and haunting.
So, this Labor Day I’ve made a personal pact to spend some time remembering my own work, the work of those around me and the work of the people who I owe so much to, but who I might never meet. Military service is a job, just as journalism, or real estate, or cashiering at the local grocery store are also jobs. They all create the fabric of this country, and, for better or worse, that fabric is woven tightly together and relies on the mutual support of the other threads.