My Uniform is My Team Red, White and Blue Shirt

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Blog written by: Lani Faulkner, 2016 Eagle Leader Fellow

My name is Lani Faulkner and I am the wife of a Navy veteran, mother to a son on Active Duty, and a daughter born and raised in a military family. I live in Ormond Beach, Florida with my husband, Vince. We have three children and seven grandchildren. I was born to very patriotic parents, Dan and Sina Waldrop, who both served our country. My father was a proud career Navy man for 23 years. Although my mother was not in the military, she served our country through her incredible and dedicated support of my father as a military spouse and our family.  She and my father taught us from birth true patriotism, love for our country and high respect for those who wear the uniform.

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One of my regrets was not joining the military. I carried that regret for many years until last year during my Eagle Leader Fellow experience. Army veteran and Team RWB teammate, Andrew Hutchinson shared a story when he transitioned out of the military. He was told that you don’t have to wear the Army uniform to serve your country. I took that comment to heart as it made me realize, I am serving my country and my uniform is my Team Red, White and Blue red shirt. My passion for veterans started with my father’s military service and the sacrifices he made all through his career. My mother was the epitome of a military wife, taking on the commitment of ensuring that my father could do his job well knowing his family was taken care of. My husband is a veteran and together we run the Team RWB Daytona chapter with a commitment to strive to enrich the lives of our veterans in our community. Our participation in Team RWB continues to make a positive impact on his life as a veteran and for that of my son and his family.  Being a part of Team RWB has shown our children and grandchildren that actions speak louder than words, to understand and recognize the importance of engaging and connecting to our active duty military and veterans.  All it takes is that one spark of inspiration, to build genuine relationships, to carry the light for others and enrich others lives. I proudly carry the light for all of them.

As a Team RWB Chapter Captain for the past five years and in completing my Eagle Leader Fellow program, I am honored and humbled to be a part of Team RWB where I am afforded the opportunity to “carry the light” to make a positive impact on our local veterans and community members. Being involved with the Eagle Leadership Development Program and Eagle Leader Fellows, I’ve grown so much personally. I carry the light for Team Red, White and Blue and for the Eagles who carry the light with me.

I am extremely grateful to ALEX AND ANI for creating the “Carry Light” campaign and for their support of Team RWB. When I think about carrying the light, I think about how that light is the core to my heart. It allows me to always think about my maxim. It grounds me and is who I am. I can pass it on to others and encourage others to carry the light… bravely; with honor, pride and dignity.