Giving Thanks To Those Who Served – Memorial Day

2015-05-CatholicCharities-FlagRaising-05WebIt was such an honor to participate in the dedication and raising of our country’s flag at the new Catholic Charities Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri last Thursday. We are committed to supporting Catholic Charities, and donated our time and labor to make sure this project happened.

Standing there, surrounded by multiple generations of veterans was moving in so many ways.  There was a strong sense of pride, determination and honor as the colors were raised for the first time at the new headquarters.

Memorial Day started after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers that died.  It was later expanded to honor all soldiers that gave their lives for our country. (Check out Wikipedia for more details on the history of Memorial Day.)

It’s hard to imagine what our country would be like without the commitment and sacrifice of the men and women who have served to protect our way of life.  There are too many things to list, but freedom of speech and religion are two of things that make up the foundation of being an American.

I’ll be forever grateful to our veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice and those who return from service with life changing disabilities.

Thank you to our veterans here at Straub Construction and thank you Catholic Charities of Kansas City/St. Joseph for your service and outreach to our veterans.  They deserve the very best.

She Graduated! Don’t Let Life Get In Your Way.

2015 GraduationMay is a time of transition. The days are getting longer, the temperatures are warmer, the flowers are blooming and students are graduating! As I sat through my first graduation ceremony as a parent, I found myself reflecting on what my daughter has accomplished and overcome over the last 12 years of school.

Her learning delays were identified early in her academic career and with the help of a now retiring resource teacher, Judy Domke, along with many others, she was able to set a foundation to build from in her middle school and high school years.

In her fourth grade year she was diagnosed with Type I diabetes. This is a truly life changing diagnosis for anyone, but for someone that is scared of needles and struggles with math, it was especially hard. As a diabetic, you count carbs and have to calculate what your dose of insulin should be.

However, she did as she always does, she put a smile on her face and learned to adapt.

Johnson County Community CollegeAs her high school years came to a close, it became apparent that she wasn’t going to be able to head straight to a four year school as she had always dreamed about doing. Oklahoma and K-State were two places that she had always wanted to go. Academically, it would just be too much. She decided that Johnson County Community College would be a better option. Instead of letting the disappointment linger, she has embraced it and is very excited to be a Cavalier!

The highlight of the weekend was on class day. She was recognized along with 5 other students and a total of 20 in the Blue Valley district with a Cocherl Family Foundation scholarship. This is awarded to kids with challenges like hers, who continue to persevere and want to continue their education. It was a complete surprise to all of us! A big thank you to the Cocherl Family for helping these kids!

Blue Valley SchoolsLife is full of highs and lows. I want to thank my daughter for always putting a smile on her face and being a true blessing to everyone she encounters every day. It’s a good reminder for us in business that we touch so many people in many different ways. We need to ask ourselves, did we make a positive difference today?

Congratulations to Taylor and the Class of 2015! A special shout out to the Blue Valley High class!