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Business plan winner values the process of learning

businessplanwinner 600Michael Partee recently had one of those experiences that lend credence to the thought that it is often the journey – rather than the destination – that yields the most reward.

Partee, the owner of M.B. Partee's Gourmet Pecans, recently emerged the winner of the best business plan grant competition sponsored by Deidre Malone and The Carter Malone Group LLC. After a thorough review by a panel of professionals, Partee came out on top of the grading process. He netted money to invest into his business and a new perspective on what it takes to run one.

"I'd like to think that I learned more about my business through the process of writing this business plan than I they learned from reviewing it," said Partee. "Through their symposium, I was able to truly look at my business and identify strengths and weaknesses that will affect its success long-term. ...This was a great learning experience."

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Memorial Day: A somber commemoration with African-American roots

firstmemorialday 600It often seems that Memorial Day was invented by manufacturers of outdoor cooking supplies, and for many Americans – if not most of them – the last Monday in May is only about gathering the family for a barbecue.

There's nothing wrong, of course, with enjoying the company of people we love in a bucolic and relaxing atmosphere, but it comes as a shock to many people that the holiday's purpose is to force us to remember the sacrifice of Americans who died for our liberty.

The first Memorial Day was, as Yale Professor David Blight observed, actually created in Charleston, South Carolina, by "Black Americans recently freed from slavery, announcing to the world...what the war was about."


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Fighting the war at home on Memorial Day and every day

warathome 600They are the unsung heroes. There are no monuments built to them and no medals of honor awarded, yet they fight every day in the aftermath of America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They are the caregivers: the families who love and care for the wounded warriors who come home transformed and tormented.

"We stand quietly in the back," says 35-year-old Tai Kimes, whose husband Casey returned from combat suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).

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The passion of service to our troops in a war that’s not over

Pennington Walker_600My job is about passion.

It's a passion to lead. It's a passion to succeed. And it's a passion to give people a little bit better of a day – or even just a moment – amid some of the biggest challenges of their lives.

I'm the manager at USO Kandahar, one of seven remaining USO centers in Afghanistan. Thought that war was over? A lot of other Americans do, too. But we've still got thousands of U.S. troops serving in harm's way every day. And when those men and women need a break, a nap or a place to call home, they come to our center.

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