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October 23, 2017


If you met me after college you wouldn’t know that for the first 22 years of my life I had a different last name.

Gordon is actually my Mom's maiden name. After college my older brother and I changed our last name to honor her and our grandparents who were so influential in our lives.

The fact that my biological father and mother divorced when I was a year old and that I didn’t have a good relationship with my father made it an easier decision.

I have always taken great pride in the Gordon name but it took on a special significance recently.

Jon Gordon GrandfatherI was looking at pictures of my Grandfather that I keep on my desk and remembered that he fought in World War II. For some reason I wondered if he had been involved in the invasion of Normandy.

My Mom passed away 10 years ago so I reached out to my Aunt who told me that my grandfather had indeed been involved. It turns out he was 20 years old and his fellow soldiers called him "Pops" since he was already a young father to my Aunt.

While storming the beaches of Normandy he and his battalion came under heavy fire, much like you see in the movie Saving Private Ryan. My Grandfather was shot in the neck as his best friend was shot in the head and fell on him, saving his life. Unfortunately all of his friends were killed but somehow my grandfather survived. He was sent to Manila to recuperate and then sent back to serve.

Of course my Grandfather never talked about any of this to me or anyone. He was part of the greatest generation that didn’t talk about these things. My Aunt said she found out the details from my Grandmother.

After I hung up the phone with my Aunt, I had a powerful realization. When my Grandfather was shot my mom had not yet been born. If my Grandpa Gordon didn’t survive, I don’t exist.

I know I am here for a reason. I know that you are here for a reason. We are not accidents. The fact that you are reading this is not an accident. We have a purpose and there is a plan for our lives.

As the people who came before us made our lives possible we have the opportunity to make the best life possible for others. Let’s use this gift of life we have been given and make a positive impact!

Jon Gordon Grandfather and GrandmotherMy Grandma and Grandpa Gordon always told me I was going to do something special and somehow through all the difficult times in my life I heard their words and believed them. They gave me the greatest gift an adult can give a child. They believed in me. They called out the best in me and now I carry their name with me and share their legacy each day.

I'm Jon GORDON and if no one has told you, I want you to know that you are special. You are here to do something meaningful. I believe in you. You are meant to make a difference. You can start today.

- Jon


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