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People who serve in the military earn my respect and those who die in combat are among the individuals I highly regard. They are warriors, an elite group that I honor in memory of my father and relatives who fought to defend our freedom and ways of life. So I am very pleased that Madison Magazine’s cover story this month, starting on page 58, tells the stories of four local veterans, their struggles and triumphs.
We chose the headline “Soldiering On” for its broader meaning of perseverance rather than its connection to one branch of the U.S. armed forces. Soldiers are defined as anyone serving in an army, but they are often associated with the U.S. Army. Word choice is important to us, especially in stories of a sensitive nature. But we opted to use this figure of speech as a way to convey the determined spirit of all of our returning veterans.
In her gripping style of storytelling, senior contributor Maggie Ginsberg gives us a glimpse of what life has been like for veterans of conflicts in the Middle East and Vietnam. One of them tells of the slurs he endured upon his return, another of his struggles with a brain injury. One endured sexual assault while in service and another has a recurring dream about being deployed again. They represent four of the more than 26,000 veterans in Dane County, and their stories deserve to be told.
Placing a spotlight on local veterans is such a high priority that we put them on the cover, over our prestigious M List winners. Since its debut in 2013, Madison Magazine’s M List has recognized dozens of local innovators in various sectors of the marketplace. We’ve honored entrepreneurs and businesses in the fields of technology/biotech, food, social innovation and education over the past four years. In this issue, we recognize individuals representing 30 businesses in the health industry, along with nine established “Titans of the Industry” and four “Ones to Watch.” Their contributions are pushing Madison to become the next hub of health innovation, which is exciting and holds great promise for the future of our region. As much as we wanted to highlight the M List on our cover, that distinction this November belongs to our veterans.
On this Veterans Day, celebrated each year on Nov. 11, I hope Madisonians will take time to appreciate the sacrifices made by our servicemen and servicewomen. Sacrifices like the ones made by Bob Curry, Seth Bruce, Jennifer Sluga and Joe Naylor, whose stories are shared in this month’s cover story.
Karen Michel is editor of Madison Magazine.