Fort McCoy News Jan. 27, 2017

MLK Jr. Day speaker: 'We're all in this together'

BY AIMEE MALONE
Public Affairs Staff

The actions and words of others have long inspired Floyd Rose, the guest speaker for Fort McCoy's observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 12.

"My dad had a saying, and it might be a little bit cheesy, … but it's something I've lived by," Rose said. "You are what you do, you are what you protect, and you are what you leave behind."

The teachings and life of Martin Luther King Jr. also have taught him two similar lessons, Rose said: "Passion is paramount, and we are all in this together."

Rose is a Madison, Wis., businessman who's worked for more than 40 years to evaluate, analyze, and develop policy for private- and public-sector organizations concerning sales growth, procurement practices, human-resource management, and policy. He holds leadership positions in multiple organizations, including the Wisconsin Diversity Procurement Network and 100 Black Men of America Inc. (Madison Chapter).

Floyd Rose of Madison, Wis., gives his presentation during the Fort McCoy observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 12 at McCoy’s Community Center.
Floyd Rose of Madison, Wis., gives his presentation during the Fort
McCoy observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 12 at McCoy's
Community Center.
Photo by Scott T. Sturkol

Rose said the one thing he wanted to stress is that people have to work together to find solutions and improve living conditions, whether it's fighting illiteracy and poverty or trying to bridge political and cultural gaps.

"We are in a situation where we really have to look inward. I don't think the solutions to what Dr. King spent his life trying to do are going to come from anywhere other than the populace," Rose said.

"There are a lot of forces that tear us apart, that talk about our differences," Rose said.

He used the 2016 election campaigns as an example, saying they weren't about people coming together for beliefs but being separated.

"It was about how we can separate this group from that group so that we now end up with a bunch of groups," Rose said. That approach accomplishes nothing, he said. Change and improvement are only achieved when people find common ground and work together.

"That is one thing I really want to stress today. All we really have is each other," Rose said. "Those of you in the military have learned this; many of us outside of the military still need to learn this."

Rose compared King to service members, saying he put duty before his personal safety to demonstrate his message and achieve his goals. King endured threats and injuries, and he was arrested 29 times during his lifetime quest for universal civil rights.
Military members make similar sacrifices, Rose said. "(People) sometimes don't understand the depth and breadth of what you lay on the line for us."

Garrison Commander Col. David J. Pinter Sr. (left) provides closing remarks as Dr. Floyd Rose and Master Sgt. Freida Carter, Fort McCoy equal opportunity adviser, look on during the Fort McCoy observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 12.
Garrison Commander Col. David J. Pinter Sr. (left) provides closing
remarks as Floyd Rose and Master Sgt. Freida Carter, Fort McCoy
equal opportunity adviser, look on during the Fort McCoy observance
of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 12. Rose received a
commemorative plaque for his participation from the garrison as well
as a commander's coin.
Photo by Scott T. Sturkol

"You have kept us safe," Rose said. "You have accepted that as your mission."

Garrison Commander Col. David J. Pinter Sr. said it is important to use Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a chance to reflect on goals, including how to influence change and make a difference. He stressed the importance of the observance's theme, "Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On, Not a Day Off!"

"What is it that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wanted us to do?" Pinter asked. "He wanted us to observe and remember what it is we provide to the rest of the world. I would like to say that America, looking at our diversity, we are the example for the rest of the world to follow."

Both Pinter and Rose said it was important to follow King's values and take action to achieve goals and change the world.

"The legacy that each one of you leaves is paramount to where we will be as a country (and) as humanity," Rose said.

Gena Berlet with the Directorate of Public Works said she enjoyed the presentation.

"I think that Dr. Rose is a great speaker," she said.

Members of the Tomah High School Diversity club also attended the presentation. Junior Devin Youngs said he learned a lot of new details about King and his work.

"I thought it was very enlightening," Youngs said. "It broadened my perspective. It taught me to be strong about what I believe in."

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance was organized by the Equal Opportunity office. For more information about Equal Opportunity events and services, call 608-388-6153.